University Community

Beth Novak named interim dean of the Honors Tutorial College

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs has named Beth Novak as the interim dean of the Honors Tutorial College.

This announcement follows current Dean Donal Skinner’s plans to step down from his role at the end of the fall semester for a new role as the dean of the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College, associate provost and the Mary McDermott Cook Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Novak, who will begin as interim dean on Jan. 1, 2023, currently serves as associate dean of the Honors Tutorial College and associate professor of media arts and studies in the Scripps College of Communication.

“I’m very pleased that Beth Novak will be serving as interim dean for the Honors Tutorial College at this critical time,” Sayrs said. “She is a proven leader who is committed to providing our students with outstanding educational opportunities. I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

An OHIO graduate, Novak earned her bachelor’s degree in visual communication from Ohio University in 1998. She returned to OHIO in 2003 after earning an MFA in visual communication design from the Ohio State University. She has served in multiple positions in the Honors Tutorial College and the Scripps College of Communication where she previously served as associate dean. Novak received the University Professor Award in 2017.

Skinner has served as the dean of the Honors Tutorial College, the oldest degree-granting college of its kind in the United States, since 2019. 

During his time at OHIO, the University admitted its first full cohort of the OHIO Honors Program and saw the program increase in size and prominence. This fall, the University-wide program has a record enrollment of 1,228 undergraduate students.

In addition, OHIO launched the 1804 Scholars Program, a residential scholars program that is focused on high-promise students’ academic success and overall well-being. 

“I’m grateful to Donal Skinner for all that he has done for the Honors Tutorial College and Ohio University,” Sayrs said.  “His strong support for and connection with students will be missed.”

Novak will serve as interim dean until June 30, 2023, or until a permanent dean is hired. A national search for the permanent dean will begin in January 2022. Storbeck Search will assist Ohio University with the search process.

November 23, 2022
Staff reports