December 14, 2011

Benshoff will continue to lead education college

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- John J. Benshoff will continue to lead the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for the rest of this fiscal year.

Benshoff, previously the director of the Rehabilitation Institute, has served as interim dean on a temporary basis since the departure earlier this year of Kenneth Teitelbaum for a position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Chancellor Rita Cheng announced the selection of Benshoff as interim dean, which followed an internal search, today (Dec. 14)).

“Dr. Benshoff will continue to provide outstanding leadership for the college,” Cheng said.  “He is passionate about student success, about providing critical services to our communities, and about moving the college and the University forward.”

Benshoff said he is “pleased and excited” with the opportunity to lead the college.

“The College of Education and Human Services was the original college at SIU; we have a proud tradition and strong legacy that date back to the founding of the University,” he said.  “As a college, I want us to be a welcoming college, a college of excellence, a college that is engaged with our professional and community colleagues and a college that embraces the talents of our faculty, staff and students in our teaching, research and service.  I look forward to working with Chancellor Cheng and Provost (John) Nicklow to build a stronger, better SIU Carbondale,” Benshoff said.

Benshoff has devoted more than 20 years to the University and its Rehabilitation Institute.  Initially hired as an assistant professor in rehabilitation administration and services in 1988, he has also served as associate professor and director of studies in substance abuse counseling and coordinator of the rehabilitation counselor training program.  Promoted to professor in 1999, he became director of the Rehabilitation Institute in 2006, initially on an interim basis.

Benshoff’s career has also included consulting as well as working in the fields of rehabilitation and substance abuse in both private practice and clinical settings and he served as a hearing officer for the Illinois Office of Rehabilitation Services.

Benshoff holds a doctorate in human rehabilitation, completed at the University of Northern Colorado in Greely, Colo. in 1987.  He earned his master’s in rehabilitation in 1968 and his bachelor’s in biology in 1967 at the University of Pittsburgh.  He also has certifications in management and administration from the University of Utah at Salk Lake City and the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.

The National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), the country’s premier professional association for rehabilitation education professionals, honored Benshoff with the 2011 Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Award in recognition of his contributions to and years of service in the field of rehabilitation.  He has been active for many years in NCRE and other professional organizations as well as in University and community service.  His research interests include rehabilitation, alcohol and substance abuse and rehabilitation counseling. 

Benshoff and wife Sharon live in Carbondale.

A national search is now under way for a permanent dean for college.

“That search will accelerate in January, with the goal of naming the new dean July 1, 2012,” Nicklow said.