Stevens named new Ogden dean at WKU

Joanna Williams

Dr. Cheryl Stevens, currently associate dean for scholarship and chemistry department chair at Xavier University of Louisiana has been named the new dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering.

Stevens was one of three finalists for the position, whose search began during the summer. The current Ogden dean, Blaine Ferrell, will enter transitional retirement after the end of December.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the decision was not the “easiest,” but he feels comfortable with the choice.

“She represents an accurate match for the needs and aspiration of Ogden College at this time,” Emslie said.

David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters and head of the Ogden search committee, said Stevens brings a “strong package” that includes securing research grants and being student-oriented.

“I think any search process for a dean is pretty rigorous and demanding,” Lee said. “But it’s also an exciting one.”

Stevens first joined Xavier’s faculty in 1982 as a member of the chemistry faculty and in 2005 became chair of the chemistry department. In 2009, she was named associate dean for Scholarship.

Stevens is also an adjunct professor at the University of New Orleans and the Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the new dean of Ogden College at WKU,” Stevens said in a WKU press release. “I look forward to being part of the progressive changes, opportunities and growth that are sure to be part of this university’s future.”

Stevens is slated to start on Jan. 23, 2012.