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Bill Willan

William "Bill" Willan will retire in June 2019 from Ohio University.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Executive dean for Regional Higher Education to retire in June 2019


Interim Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs has announced that William “Bill” Willan will be retiring as executive dean for Regional Higher Education, effective June 30, 2019.

“Dr. Willan’s contributions to Ohio University run deep and can be seen throughout our regional campus system as well as on our main campus in Athens,” Dr. Sayrs said. “Time and time again, Dr. Willan has demonstrated unwavering dedication to Ohio University, its mission, our students and his colleagues, all the while recognizing the impact the work that we do has on our region, our state, our nation and our world.”

Since joining Ohio University in 1999, Dr. Willan has served as coordinator of academic program development for Regional Higher Education; as assistant vice president for Regional Higher Education; as interim dean of both the Eastern and Southern campuses; as associate vice president for academic and student affairs for University Outreach and Regional Campuses; and as interim executive director of eLearning OHIO. He was named dean of Ohio University’s Southern Campus in July 2009 and was appointed executive dean for Regional Higher Education in July 2013.

As executive dean for Regional Higher Education, Dr. Willan is responsible for administrative oversight of Ohio University’s five regional campuses and two centers. Additional responsibilities include coordinating relationships between the regional campuses and the Athens Campus; overseeing the finances for Regional Higher Education; representing the regional campuses and centers across the University, the state and nationally; and promoting the access and outreach mission of Ohio University. Dr. Willan was instrumental in developing the OHIO for Ohio initiative that seeks to expand Ohio University’s footprint throughout the state, providing access to education, addressing critical needs within communities and strengthening local and the state economies. 

Prior to joining OHIO, Dr. Willan was a faculty member at the University of Maine at Fort Kent where he also served as dean of academic affairs and as assistant to the president for special projects. He is past president of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators.

“I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities Ohio University has afforded me over the past nearly 20 years and extremely proud to be a part of a rich, more than 70-year history of providing access to higher education to students and professionals throughout southeastern Ohio,” Dr. Willan said. “I look forward to my final year of service to OHIO and to helping position the regional campuses for many more years of educating students, transforming lives, and making a difference in the communities we serve.”

Details on plans for a national search for Ohio University’s next executive dean for Regional Higher Education will be announced at a later date.