Five Women Taking on New Dean Positions in Academia

Renee Butler has been named interim dean of the College of Mathematics, Computing, and Sciences at the University of West Georgia. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education, currently serving as senior associate dean and professor of systems and industrial engineering at the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Dr. Butler is a three-time graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology where she received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, master’s degree in operations research, and Ph.D. in industrial engineering.

Anna E. Carpenter has been appointed dean of College of Law at the University of Oklahoma. She most recently served as special advisor to the president and professor of law at the University of Utah. Earlier in her career, she held faculty appointments with the University of Tulsa and Georgetown University.

Carpenter completed her undergraduate education at Willamette University in Portland, Oregon. She holds a master of laws degree and juris doctorate from Georgetown University.

Ece Erdogmus has been named founding dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Construction at Clemson University in South Carolina. Currently, she serves as professor and chair of the School of Building Construction at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She previously held faculty and leadership positions with the University of Nebraska.

Dr. Erdogmus received her bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in architectural engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Debra Burns has been appointed dean of the College of Communications and Fine Arts at the University of Memphis. She currently heads the department of music and arts technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where she founded two doctoral programs in music therapy and music technology, respectively.

Dr. Burns holds a bachelor’s degree in K-12 music education from Glenville State College in West Virginia, a master’s degree in music therapy from Illinois State University, and a Ph.D. in music education and music therapy from the University of Kansas.

Gina Lovasi has been named the Dana and David Dornsife Dean of the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She was appointed interim dean in September 2023 and currently teaches as a professor of epidemiology. Prior to her interim appointment, she co-directed the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative.

Dr. Lovasi is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles where she double-majored in ecology and behavior and evolution. She holds a master of public health degree and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington.

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