Dr. David Starrett, Columbia College provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, has announced the naming of the three founding deans who will lead the college’s three new academic schools. The new structure will take effect in the fall of 2016 after being proposed by Columbia College President Dr. Scott Dalrymple in April of 2015 and subsequently approved by the board of trustees.
“We are extremely pleased to have these outstanding educational leaders join the college or take on expanded roles as part of the new academic structure,” Starrett said. “All of their track records speak for themselves at every level of higher education and our students and faculty will certainly benefit from their expertise.”
The three new deans include David Roebuck, Ph.D., who currently serves as professor of Political Science at Columbia College and will assume the position of dean of the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Shanda Traiser, Ph. D., currently the director of strategic planning at Basin Electric Power Cooperative, who will be the dean of the School of Business Administration; and Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, Ph.D., who will serve as dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Vordtriede-Patton is currently the interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at St. Ambrose University.
Citing a need to implement a structure that would both address a decade of rapid college growth and provide for future expansion, Dalrymple created the College Structure Task Force in 2014. This group, which consisted of faculty members and administrators, as well as members of the board of trustees, met throughout the academic year to discuss different structural options for the college’s academic programs. Based on the recommendation of this group, the college put forward a plan where each school will be led by a dean.