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OUS dean Pennington named to interim position

Ohio University Southern dean Dr. Nicole Pennington has been named as the interim executive dean for Regional Higher Education.

She was appointed to the interim position after the current executive dean, Dr. Bill Willan announced his retirement. Pennington will start working with Willan on May 1 to ensure a seamless transition. She will continue to serve as the dean of OUS.

Pennington said she is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with OU president M. Duane Nellis and OU provost Dr. Chaden Djalali to develop and implement a strategic vision to support the evolution and improvement of regional higher education across all campuses.

“The access and affordability mission of the regional campuses is very important to the communities that we serve,” Pennington said. “I believe in that mission and it is a privilege to lead these campuses in a time of transition. I look forward to working with the wonderful faculty and staff of the regional campuses and our Athens campus.”

Pennington has previously served as co-chair of the President’s Regional Higher Education Task Force and is ready to provide strategic oversight as OU continues its efforts to create and implement an integrated model for regional, extension, online and Athens campus operations.

In March, the Ohio University Board of Trustees passed a resolution accepting the recommendations of the Task Force and support to move towards a One OHIO integrated educational model.

Djalali said the regional campuses are a vital part of the Ohio University ecosystem and  provide valuable educational and economic benefits to their communities.

Djalali is working with Willan, Pennington, and OU’s regional deans to ensure appropriate leadership of all regional campuses.

Critical to that discussion is strong leadership at the executive dean level.

“Dean Pennington has played an integral role in our conversations related to One OHIO University,” said Provost Djalali. “She will provide a continuity in leadership to help us advance in our efforts to create a new legacy for the institution.”