New dean looks forward to his return to OUSC

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2000

Ambition and determination to fulfill his parents’ dreams opened the door of opportunity for Lawrence County native Dr.

Thursday, December 07, 2000

Ambition and determination to fulfill his parents’ dreams opened the door of opportunity for Lawrence County native Dr. Dan Evans.

Email newsletter signup

"I began my academic career right here in the southern campus in 1968," Evans said. "When I graduated from high school, I knew I was always going to college because my parents always said to me, ‘You’re going to college.’"

Ohio University officials named Evans as dean of Ohio University Southern Campus last week, ending an exhaustive search. He succeeds Dr. Bill Dingus, who retired this year after serving 24 years. Dr. Eric Cunningham will remain interim dean until July 1.

With five children in his family, Evans, a 1968 Rock Hill graduate, questioned his parents ability to pay for higher education. But when a scholarship opportunity was made available, it changed his whole outlook.

"I received an academic scholarship from a group known as the Ohio University Women," he said. "They created an opportunity and made higher education accessible to me. That opened the door for me to go to school."

And the rest is history.

Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973 and a doctorate in higher education from Ohio University in 1990. He also holds a master’s degree in counseling from Morehead State University.

He has served as a junior high and high school English teacher in the Rock Hill School District and a guidance counselor for the then Lawrence County Joint Vocational School.

After three years of service at LCJVS, Evans held several administrative positions at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth from 1981 to 1994, including a post as assistant vice president of academic affairs for his final four years there. He also taught at OUSC from 1986 to 1994.

Evans has served as dean of Wright State University’s Lake Campus in Celina since 1994.

"I’m a first-generation college graduate," he said. "I believe higher education opens doors. It certainly has for me and I’ve had a full and bearing career."

He said he believes the new position with his alma mater will open another door of opportunity.

"This gives me the opportunity to give back to students the kind of things I had available," Evans said.

"Coming back to my hometown places me in a position to influence others that are not that different as I was. It will be very rewarding to provide educational opportunities that will open doors to careers that people in this area haven’t imagined yet."

He said his plans will include continuing Dr. Dingus’ legacy.

"I know Dr. Dingus has established a very strong campus and in many ways, we share the same philosophy," he said. "I think we both see the role of a campus university as being an integral part of the community. Bill saw the institution as part of the community and he led by example. I want to continue to encourage that."

And he wants to boost the strong foundation that has been build by Dr. Dingus, he added.

"I want to continue to improve the facilities and continuing to build on the program degrees Dr. Dingus has established," he said. "It’ll be up to me to maintain that direction and ensure it grows."

Although his plans include working with local high schools, establishing out-of-class activities for students at OUSC and maintaining the faculty, Evans said there’s another hurdle to jump.

"The biggest challenge I have is following in the footsteps of Dr. Bill Dingus," he said. "He has prepared the foundation and base very well. He has pulled together an excellent faculty, exceptional group of administrators and staff. He’s been a good base for me. I am looking forward to returning to my alma mater."