November 18, 2011

Mark Amos named dean of University College

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Mark Amos, associate professor of English and director of Saluki First Year, has been named associate provost and dean of the University College at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The appointment, effective Nov. 15, requires ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.

Amos has been part of SIU Carbondale since 1999, when he joined the faculty as an assistant professor of English.  He served as director of University Writing Studies from 2004 to 2006.  He became director of the First-Year Experience, the pre-cursor to Saluki First Year, in 2008, and when Saluki First Year launched, Amos served as interim director and then as director.

“Dr. Amos will bring a wealth of knowledge, proven leadership skills and a deep-seated commitment to student success and retention to his new role.  I am delighted to have him leading our University College,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.

Amos sees the University College as a structure that will encourage an unprecedented level of collaboration across campus among programs and services, with the ultimate goal of enhancing students’ college experience, both while they are at SIU Carbondale and after graduation.

“With the creation of the University College, SIU Carbondale has expanded the mission of Saluki First Year,” he said.  “University College will provide a comprehensive, campus-wide organization dedicated to bringing together and building upon our many programs and services to support the success of our students.”

In his previous role as Saluki First Year director, Amos acted as direct supervisor over several of the units in University College, and played a leading role in several other areas, including development of student-success classes, co-curricular programming and extended orientation.  He was also part of establishing a campus theme and common reader for Saluki First Year students, a practice meant to help define each class that enters the University, ultimately improving retention rates as students increase their stake in the University.

Amos co-led, with Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, now assistant provost for University College, the self-study and planning stages that led to the formation of the University College.  This several-year task included setting up a number of committees to study first-year programs and find the best and most appropriate ways to incorporate the program at SIU Carbondale.  A major component of that task was and continues to be envisioning a campus-wide system of interlocked core curriculum student-success courses, and the faculty support to go along with it.

John Nicklow, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said, “Mark’s experience with Saluki First Year and strong knowledge of best practices in student retention and success will serve him well in this position.  These are areas that require the campus’ attention and focus, and I am confident in Mark’s skills and ability to help improve student success.”

University College includes three units: University Core Curriculum, University Honors Program, and Saluki First Year, which includes the units of New Student Programs, Pre-Major Advisement, the Center for Academic Success, Student Support Services, Supplemental Instruction, Career Services, and the Suder First Scholars Program.