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Dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education Renée A. Middleton announces intent to step down

Published: January 29, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Dr. Renée A. Middleton has announced her intent to step down as dean of The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at the end of June 2021. Dr. Middleton has served as dean and tenured professor of Counselor Education for the last 15 years.

Under Dean Middleton’s leadership, the Patton College has experienced great success in preparing generations of educators and human service professionals for service. She successfully led academic realignment and expansion of the Patton College in 2010, integrating programs from the former College of Health and Human Services to better serve the state of Ohio and meet the needs of local and global communities.  

During Dean Middleton’s tenure, McCracken Hall evolved to become the state-of-the-art home for Ohio University’s Patton College of Education through a $32.8 million-dollar comprehensive renovation and expansion. The renovation was made possible by a transformational gift from Dr. Violet Patton, BSEd '38, LHD '11. Additionally, the College set a new milestone in donor development under Dean Middleton’s guidance, exceeding one million dollars gifts in pledges each year since 2013.

Through Dean Middleton’s vision, the college experienced steady growth in both faculty and student diversity through programs like the Patton College’s innovative and progressive HOPE program, which is designed to prepare pre-service teachers to incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy into their own teaching styles. The College’s Brothers RISE (Rallying to Inspire and Shape Education) initiative, which was created under Middleton’s purview, is a retention program designed to help recruit and retain African American males into the profession of teaching and thereby empower future generations of diverse learners and educators. Dean Middleton was also instrumental in the development of the University’s Black Lives Matter Series, a n educational series with the goal of enhancing knowledge about racist and anti-racist behaviors among citizens of the University and global communities.  

“Dean Middleton has been the consummate academic leader and a strong advocate for both the Patton College of Education and the education profession throughout her years of service,” said Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs. “Her commitment to collaboration and her intentional actions to increase and support diversity and student success has helped place the Patton College as a nationally recognized college, and her innovative approach to teacher and counselor education has made an impact on the fields of education and mental health locally and beyond.” 

With more than 100 faculty members serving more than 2,100 undergraduate and 800 graduate students, the Patton College has prepared generations of educators, practitioners and human service professionals to be leaders over the past 125 years. Home to several excellent programs, the College comprises five departments: Counseling and Higher Education, Human and Consumer Science Education, Educational Studies, Recreation and Sport Pedagogy, and Teacher Education. During her tenure, Dean Middleton led the successful adoption of a reimagined clinical model of teacher preparation that engages in a community-fostered approach to place teacher candidates in educational settings that benefit all stakeholders. The Patton College’s award-winning Clinical Model of Teacher Preparation was recognized nationally by the American Association of Colleges in Teacher Education (AACTE) and the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). 

The Patton College has earned top rankings for its undergraduate and graduate programs with several ranked among the highest in the nation and continues to distinguish itself through partnerships that address social, economic and educational issues affecting communities worldwide and impacting American students’ ability to learn in our public schools. Under Dean Middleton’s leadership, the Patton College successfully increased in national rankings placed at or near the top 100 over the last eight years. 

Dean Middleton was instrumental in establishing the rigorous, inquiry-based Connavino Honors Program, which offers intensive research experiences to high-achieving students who gain opportunities for increased leadership, professional development, and intensive classroom experience with a core group of faculty through the program.   

Dean Middleton, who was awarded the prestigious Pomeroy Award in 2017, is highly respected nationally as a dean of education. She has been an institutional member of the AACTE since 2006 and served as AACTE Board Chair in 2017-18.

A tenured professor of Counselor Education with 29 years of teaching experience, Dean Middleton received the B.S. in Speech and Hearing from Andrews University, the M.A. in Clinical Audiology from the University of Tennessee, and the Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Administration from Auburn University. Prior to assuming the deanship in August 2006, Dr. Middleton served as the director of research, human resource development and outreach for Auburn University's College of Education in Auburn, Alabama. 

“I’m extremely proud of what our students, faculty and staff have accomplished during my time as dean,” Middleton said. “Together, we have set the Patton College on a robust path of rigor, access and inclusivity. There is a bright future ahead: Let’s Continue To Go Out and Do Great Things!” 

Plans for continuity of leadership for the college will be shared at a later date.