Centre names new Dean of the College
RELEASED: April 6, 2006
| Stephanie Fabritius
DANVILLE, KYStephanie Brown Fabritius, associate provost and professor of biology at Southwestern University, has been named Centre College's new dean, officials announced today. She replaces John Ward, who is retiring after a 16-year tenure.
"Dr. Fabritius comes to us with a truly impressive record of academic and executive achievement," says Centre president John A. Roush. "For the better part of two decades, she has been teaching and administering at a place remarkably similar to Centre College—a small, selective, national residential liberal arts college of about 1,250 students. In each of her various capacities—as teacher, biologist, department chair and associate provost—she has shown herself to be an energetic, innovative and collegial professional with an evident commitment to the ideals of education in the liberal arts and sciences. We think she'll be a tremendous asset to the Centre community."
Says Fabritius: "I've been a big fan of Centre College for years, having had the opportunity to work with Centre faculty and staff through programs sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the South. Centre has always been a major player in national quality liberal education, and the College is now on an upward swing that is positioning it among the most highly regarded institutions in America. I have great admiration for Centre's faculty, students and staff, and I'm energized and excited at the prospect of working with and becoming part of this dynamic community. My husband, Mike, and I are also thrilled about making Danville our new home."
"Stephanie Fabritius has had an enormous impact on the Southwestern University community," says Southwestern president Jake B. Schrum. "She held one of our premier endowed chairs before becoming associate provost and director of the Paideia Program, our signature co-curricular initiative. While her departure is a significant loss to our scholarly community, we're complimented that her marvelous abilities and her experience at Southwestern have brought her to this splendid new challenge at Centre College, one of the leading liberal arts colleges in America."
"I was delighted to hear that Stephanie Fabritius agreed to become our new dean," says Brian Cooney, Stodghill Professor of Philosophy and president of the faculty. "She has been a very successful associate provost at Southwestern, an institution very much like Centre in size, quality and mission. She's a thoughtful person who has familiarized herself with the challenges facing liberal arts colleges today. I'm confident that her leadership will make a valuable contribution to the academic life of Centre College."
Fabritius will assume her new position on July 1. Her official title will be vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College.
A native of California with degrees in biology from Pepperdine University (B.S.) and Purdue University (Ph.D.), Fabritius has been a professor and administrator at Southwestern, a liberal arts institution in Georgetown, Texas, just north of Austin, for 17 years. In addition to teaching and serving as associate provost, she is director of the Paideia Program, a relatively new undertaking designed to help students make intentional connections between their in-class and out-of-class experiences. Students remain in the program, with their same Paideia professor, for three years and engage in written reflection and discussion as they weave together the five strands of the program (intercultural experiences, service-learning, leadership, collaborative/guided research and rigorous academics).
In 2002-2003, Fabritius was selected for a prestigious ACE Fellowship. The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965 by the American Council on Education (ACE), is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for more responsible positions. Fabritius' host institution was Bowdoin College, but she visited many other colleges and universities, including Centre. Bowdoin's president Barry Mills, who worked closely with Fabritius during her Fellowship, says: "Stephanie is a wonderfully imaginative person. Her collegial style and commitment to faculty excellence and advancement should make her a wonderful leader of the college community."
As a teacher, Fabritius' courses include biological diversity and interactions, ecology, animal behavior, evolution, natural history of the vertebrates, animal behavior seminar and introduction to research. She held the Lillian Nelson Pratt Chair in the Sciences from 2000 to 2004 and in 1997 received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Fabritius has been both chair of the department of biology and co-chair of the animal behavior program at Southwestern. She regularly pursues collaborative research with students under the auspices of the biology summer research program. Beyond her teaching and research, she has served as the steering committee chair of Southwestern's self-study accreditation process, required every 10 years by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She was also involved with Southwestern's Strategic Planning initiative from 1997 to 1999.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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