Vision of growth: a priority for the new graduate dean

Jeanette Perry

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RuthAnn Ross, Gowrimeera Visvanathan, and Kareen Latouche, health administration graduate students, speaking with Zukweiler about their major, and their future after school. Picture by Jeanette Perry

RuthAnn Ross, Gowrimeera Visvanathan, and Kareen Latouche, health administration graduate students, speaking with Zuckweiler about their major, and their future after school. Picture by Jeanette Perry

Kathryn Zuckweiler isn’t new to Texas, having received her master’s degree in Houston.

And she isn’t new to farm country having worked in rural Nebraska.

And she loves her — Australian shepherds, Jacob sheep and European sporthorses.

But none of that got Zuckweiler the job as graduate school dean, replacing interim dean Matt Capps.

“We rated them based on the job description for the position and we had phone interviews with our top candidates, and we invited two to campus,”Betty Stewart, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said. “Zuckweiler was one of the two we invited to campus in November of 2015.”

Stewart said that as part of the search that began last fall, both candidates were invited to campus, met with campus officials and gave presentations on campus.

Stewart offered Zuckweiler the position in December.

“We decided that she [Zuckweiler] was the stronger candidate for the position,” Stewart said.

Who is Kathryn Zuckweiler?

Her most recent position was at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she served as an associate professor of management and associate dean of graduate studies and research.

Zuckweiler said she had many reasons she chose to accept the position at MSU. 

“I really like that MSU is a public liberal arts situation so it has an excellent way of combining the liberal arts background with the professional schools, so I have a little bit of a foot in each and I think it’s got tremendous opportunity,” Zuckweiler said.

Zuckweiler explained how fortunate we are to have a lot of well-regarded grad school programs, and her hopes for growth.

“Several of the programs are recognized nationally on ‘best-of’ lists, so I’m hopeful that we can build on that momentum and help promote the quality of our programs,” Zuckweiler said. “I think that there is nothing but opportunity with the grad school here.”

There are things that Zuckweiler said she would like to see moving forward for the future of the graduate programs at MSU.

“As we move forward we need to just continue to get the word out, recruit the students that have an interest in the types of programs, that maybe have a tie to Wichita Falls or to the university and do a great job of promoting all the good that exists in the grad school at MSU,” said Zuckweiler.

Staff reactions

Lucy Davis, assistant to the dean of Billie Doris McAda Graduate School, said she thinks that Zuckweiler will bring fresh perspective to the position.

“Dr. Zuckweiler brings a fresh new perspective to the vision of the McAda Graduate School,” Davis said. 

Amanda Walton, coordinator for Billie Doris McAda Graduate School, said she is excited about the technology experience that Zuckweiler brings with her to the department.

“We’ve specifically been looking at our distance ed. programs. It’s difficult to recruit all over the United States just from Wichita Falls, unless you involve technology,” Walton said. “We’re looking at online recruiting through online grad fairs, virtual grad fairs and trying to branch out a little bit more to help those programs grow as well as helping the programs grow that are around Wichita Falls on campus.”

Walton said she believes Zuckweiler will be instrumental in helping with the future growth of the graduate programs on campus.

Walton said, “By having Dr. Zuckweiler join us with the graduate school, I believe she will be able to help us look at growing the graduate school as well as offering programs that students are looking for, so they can better themselves and continue to grow through their education.”

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