OUS dean left imprint on region

Published 9:12 am Friday, June 28, 2013

The recent announcement of a leadership change at Ohio University Southern is a bittersweet one because the community is losing a strong member but will see a return, at least temporarily, of a familiar face.

Bill Willan is leaving Ironton after five years as dean of the Southern Campus to take a new regional campus role within Ohio University.

Willan may not have grown up in southern Ohio, but he quickly became a part of the community and got involved with a variety of organizations committed to making the region a better place to live.

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He helped grow Ohio University Southern’s offerings and presence within the Tri-State as well as guide the campus through some challenging times for higher education.

The silver lining in this is that former dean and Lawrence County native Dan Evans will return as interim dean.

Evans is a great choice because he has strong understanding of how to run a branch campus and he has remained in tune with the Ironton community.

Under the circumstances, this is about the best possible scenario for the campus and the community.

Now the challenge falls on the OU leadership to find the right person to lead the campus long-term and usher in another era.

Ohio University Southern is an integral part of the Tri-State’s educational landscape, economic makeup and community fabric.

Willan’s contributions should not be forgotten but finding the right person to take the reins is the crucial next step.