Brenda Phillips

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Phillips named associate dean of Chillicothe Campus

Brenda D. Phillips, Ph.D., has been named associate dean of Ohio University-Chillicothe, effective July 22. Phillips has a broad and progressive career in higher education as a faculty member, researcher and administrator.

"I am pleased that Brenda Phillips is joining the campus in this important position that provides direction in terms of academic programming and student services as well as positioning faculty members to excel in their pursuits," OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. "She has ideal professional credentials and personal qualifications. As a long-time faculty member and renowned researcher, Dr. Phillips understands the value of exceptional teaching, which is the backbone of the Chillicothe Campus educational experience. She also has outstanding administrative skills, and she is adept at leading people of various backgrounds and skill sets toward common goals while basing decisions on what best aligns with the campus' strategic objectives.

"Further, in speaking with Dr. Phillips, it is evident she understands OU-C's unique mission and relationship to the region it serves."

As associate dean, Phillips serves as the chief academic officer of the campus and has oversight for areas such as the library and student services.

Since 2004, she has served at Oklahoma State University as the graduate student coordinator and a professor in the Fire and Emergency Program at Oklahoma State University. She has also been senior researcher for the university's Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events. She has also been an affiliate faculty member in the School of International Studies at Oklahoma State.

Phillips was previously a professor and director of the Emergency Preparedness Applied Research Center at Jacksonville (Ala.) State University from 2001 to 2004. Previously, she was a faculty member in sociology and director of the Women's Studies Program at Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas. She has also been a faculty member in sociology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and at Maryville (Tenn.) College.

A noted academic researcher, Phillips has earned numerous grants and contracts, delivered presentations at international conferences, authored and co-authored several books, articles and book chapters, and served on various boards. Much of her expertise is in the areas of emergency preparedness, particularly in regards to vulnerable populations, as well as women's studies.

A native of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Phillips earned her bachelor's degree in sociology and history with minors in Spanish and social work from Bluffton College (now Bluffton University), her master's degree in sociology from Ohio State University and her doctoral degree, also in sociology, from Ohio State.

"I am excited to return to my home state of Ohio to repay the investment the taxpayers made in my education," Phillips said. "I look forward to working with and for the students, staff and faculty of OU-Chillicothe and to becoming a member of the community. OU-Chillicothe is an important institution that supports students on their path toward a career. With a mission dedicated to a diverse set of students, OU-C makes a difference not only for students but also for the broader workforce. OU-C's purposeful environment is what attracted me to the campus and to Ross County and I think it is a great fit."

"With strong enrollment, sound finances and the offering of academic programs that prepare students for emerging career fields, these are banner days for the Chillicothe Campus," Tuck said. "I look forward to working with Dr. Phillips and ensuring that OU-C continues to find innovative ways to meet its mission of preparing students for rewarding careers and meaningful lives while also serving as a resource for our region. She brings an extensive background in higher education, and this well-rounded perspective should be especially beneficial in this endeavor."

Phillips was named associate dean following a national search. She replaces James McKean, Ph.D., who is returning to the faculty and his role as program coordinator of the Law Enforcement Technology program after serving as interim dean since July 2011.

OU-C, the first regional campus in the state, was founded in 1946. It enrolls nearly 2,500 students and offers approximately 20 academic programs, including associate, bachelor's and master's degree offerings. The Chillicothe Campus offers the close-knit environment of a small-campus setting and the opportunity to earn a degree from nationally-recognized Ohio University.