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Kathy Johnson Appointed Dean of University College and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education


April 18, 2011

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IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz today (April 18, 2011) announced the appointment of Kathy E. Johnson as Dean of University College and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education at IUPUI.

Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI, will start her new position on July 1, 2011, pending approval by the Indiana University Board of Trustees.

“Kathy Johnson’s expertise, experience, and enthusiasm make her the right person at the right time to lead University College and serve all of IUPUI as Associate Vice Chancellor,” Bantz said. “Building on our improvements in student success, Dr. Johnson will lead our efforts to increase IUPUI’s graduation rate and increase the number of our bachelor’s degree graduates—thereby increasing our contribution to the Talent Dividend.”

As dean, Johnson will head the unit that serves students from orientation through their entry into degree programs at IUPUI. She brings special skills, including her training as a cognitive developmental psychologist and a career as a researcher that has been devoted to questions pertaining to how individuals learn and construct knowledge throughout their lifespan.

“As a long-time ‘friend’ of University College, I have greatly admired the culture that Deans Evenbeck, Ward and colleagues have created – one that is characterized by an unwavering focus on student learning, a deep commitment to supporting individuals from underrepresented groups, openness to new ideas and innovations (that are appropriately evaluated through objective and ongoing assessment efforts), collegiality, and a genuine valuing of diversity,” Johnson said. “I believe that I can preserve and protect this culture – and I know that I would feel very much at home within it.”

At the same time, Johnson said she would welcome opportunities to build stronger ties with other Schools at IUPUI that share the mission of undergraduate education. “I believe that I will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ in ensuring that University College maintains its outstanding national reputation in key areas, while at the same time helping it to evolve its mission against the backdrop of a dynamic and rapidly-growing urban research university.”

Johnson has directed a program of research in cognitive development since she came to IUPUI in 1994. She became an assistant professor in 1993, an associate professor in 1999, and full professor in 2006. She was named chair of the Psychology Department in 2008.
Among her awards: 2002Trustees Teaching Award, IUPUI; 2003 Outstanding Female Faculty Leader Award, IUPUI; 2003 Faculty Mentor Award, Department of Psychology, IUPUI; 2006 Trustees Teaching Award, IUPUI; 2007 Indiana University Leadership Development Program Fellow; 2007 IUPUI Service Learning Faculty Fellow; 2007 Faculty Fellow, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, IUPUI.

Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1987, her Masters from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1989, and her doctorate from Emory University in 1992.

She succeeds Richard Ward, who has been serving as interim dean of University College since September 1, 2010. Ward will become executive director of the Center for Research and Learning (CRL) at IUPUI.

“Rick Ward’s consistent leadership to ensure student success in the School of Liberal Arts and as interim dean of University College has made a difference to IUPUI. I thank him for stepping in this year,” Bantz said.

Jay Gladden, dean, of the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at IUPUI, served as chair of the search committee for Dean of University College and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education at IUPUI.