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Interim deans, department chairs, directors announced

Interim deans, department chairs, directors announced


AUGUST 15, 2014 – With three deans having departed the SPSU campus to accept positions at institutions in other states this summer, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Rich Cole announced interim appointments to the following positions in preparation for the fall semester.

Dr. Thomas R. Currin, dean of the School of Engineering, has added interim dean of the School of Engineering Technology and Management to his title, following the departure Aug. 1 of Dean Jeff Ray for Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Rutherfoord (right), chair of the Department of Information Technology (IT), has accepted the title of interim dean of the School of Computing and Software Engineering (CSE), a position vacated in mid-July when Dean Han Reichgelt left for the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. Dr. Svetlana Peltsverger, an associate professor and coordinator of the Master of Science in IT program, has taken Rutherfoord’s place as IT department chair. Also in CSE, Dr. Jon Preston, program manager for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Design and Development and coordinator of the Center for Applied Gaming & Media Arts, has been named chair of the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department. He has taken the place of Dr. Hassan Pournaghshband, who returned to teaching this fall.

In the School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Julie Newell, chair of the Social and International Studies (SIS) Department, was named the school’s interim dean after Dr. Tom Nelson departed for Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., in July. Dr. Thomas Rotnem, a professor of political science and coordinator of the political science and international studies majors, is serving as SIS chair. Also in the School of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Prof. Laura Palmer was named chair of the Digital Writing and Media Arts Department (formerly English, Technical Communication and Media Arts) following Dr. Mark Nunes’ departure in June for a position at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Assistant Prof. Sarah Holliday accepted the position of chair of the Mathematics Department after Dr. Andrew McMorran chose to return to teaching.

Outside of Academic Affairs, there are two more interim appointments to report. Quint Hill, associate director of Human Resources, became interim director after Dr. Charles Azebeokhai took a leave of absence from his position in July. Rhonda Henderson, formerly construction project manager, is filling the shoes of Senior Director of Facilities Steve Kitchen, who left SPSU in July for a position with the Foothill-de Anza Community College District in California.