Purdue University Northwest has appointed two veteran and accomplished administrators as collegiate deans.
Kenneth (Chris) Holford, longtime Purdue University North Central administrator and recent Interim Dean of PNW’s College of Engineering and Sciences, has been named the College’s Dean effective immediately. Elaine Carey, chair of the Department of History at St. John’s (NY) University, will assume responsibilities as Dean of PNW’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences July 1.
“Each of these individuals has climbed the ladder of progressive and successful leadership, while demonstrating focus and vision that will contribute substantially to Purdue University Northwest achieving its ever-growing goals for academic innovation, impact and improvement,” PNW Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Ralph O. Mueller said.
Dean, College of Engineering and Sciences
For 16 of his 25 years in higher education, Holford of Valparaiso has served Purdue Northwest and the former Purdue North Central. Prior to his most recent responsibility as Interim Dean and professor of biology, he was Dean of the College of Science and Chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Purdue North Central.
“Dr. Holford offers progressive, proven leadership experience, as well as knowledge and understanding of PNW, our transition from two independent regional campuses into one university, and our strategic quest to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to increase academic excellence in extraordinary ways for our students,” Mueller said.
Mueller added that Holford’s academic background will prove valuable as PNW furthers its commitment to STEM education.
While serving PNW campuses, Holford has implemented measures to increase student success, demonstrated a commitment to faculty collaboration and transparency, and has worked with colleagues to establish and increase funding for three endowments.
“Our top priority will be to provide our engineering and science students a bigger, better and more engaged academic experience,” Holford said. “Not only will the College of Engineering and Sciences produce well-prepared graduates, but we plan to increase our footprint in economic development through collaboration and partnership with the private sector.”
Holford holds a baccalaureate degree in biology from Augustana (Ill.) College, master’s degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in biology from Illinois State University.
Dean, College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Carey, a New Yorker from Queens and formerly Pensacola, Fla., will bring more than 25 years of higher education experience as an administrator, professor of history and researcher to her new role as head of PNW’s largest academic college.
“I am impressed by PNW’s commitment to student success,” she said. “I see my role as an advocate about how we—educators, humanists and social scientists—work throughout the region giving students greater opportunities for learning and engagement whether through research, internships, mentoring and career preparedness to meet the challenges and opportunities in today’s work places and graduate schools.”
While chairing the Department of History at St. John’s the past five years, Carey developed university collaborations with local museums, archives and libraries in New York. She also furthered training by all faculty in her department to design assessment tools.
Additionally, she engaged high school concurrent enrollment partners in New York’s five boroughs and Long Island with workshops, onsite visits and faculty outreach. She also increased alumni outreach and more than tripled direct donations to the Department of History. What’s more, she has organized teaching panels and workshops for K-12 education, higher education and public historians.
“To lead PNW’s largest college of students, Dr. Carey brings the right mix of management and leadership experience, as well as a strong focus on community engagement,” Mueller said. “She is a widely-published historian who will support students and faculty members in their academic pursuits.”
Carey holds a baccalaureate degree in international affairs and master’s degree in history from Florida State University. She earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of New Mexico.
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. The university was established by the unification in early 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.