Welcome to Our New Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

posted Apr 21, 2017, 6:59 AM by Colleen Ware   [ updated Apr 26, 2017, 10:25 AM ]
Please join me in welcoming Professor Ascan Koerner as CLA’s associate dean for undergraduate education, effective Monday, August 14 and through the 2019-20 academic year. 

Professor Koerner (PhD '98, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Family Social Science and the interpersonal relationships research minor program. Ascan is widely regarded for his research on family communication and particular the development and refinement of family communication patterns theory. This theory articulates how basic patterns of sense making in families have profound effects not only on how families habitually communicate, but also on outcomes as diverse as child adjustment, family conflict, and parenting, among others. Secondary research interests include evolutionary psychology and interpersonal influence. 

Ascan brings several years of administrative experience to the position as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. He has served for 13 years on the University IRB for Social and Behavioral Research and as the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Communication Studies since 2012. Starting in August of 2015, Ascan has been the faculty director of CLA’s Career Readiness Initiative and has helped coordinate the efforts of faculty and the staff of the Office of Undergraduate Education. 

The associate dean for undergraduate education is a member of the CLA administrative leadership team and works collaboratively with the dean, the other associate deans, and the directors of CLA advancement, fiscal administration, human resources, and technology and innovation services offices in CLA. The AD-UGE also works collaboratively with the directors of undergraduate studies across the college, undergraduate associate deans in other colleges, the vice provost for undergraduate education, and the director of admissions. 

I am delighted that the College will benefit from Professor Koerner’s experience and expertise in this critical role. Ascan will build on the strong foundation and outstanding work in undergraduate education established by Associate Dean Gary Oehlert, and I thank Gary for his tireless service to the College. 

Professor Koerner’s creative and inventive thinking and experience will play a central role in advancing the CLA Roadmap goal of promoting student career readiness and developing and promoting curricular innovations that reflect new knowledge, new ways of learning, interdisciplinary connections, and new areas of interest to our students and our communities. He has likewise demonstrated deep commitment to the Roadmap goals of relentlessly pursuing research and creative excellence, diversity and inclusion, and engagement. I invite you to join me in thanking Ascan for taking on this service on behalf of the College.

I was remiss in neglecting to thank the search committee when this announcement of Professor Ascan Koerner as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education was originally sent. Many thanks to the members of the search committee, which included:

Jonathan GeWirtz, chair (psychology)
Matthew Lefebvre (theatre arts & dance)
Keith Mayes (African American & African studies)
Susan Noakes (French & Italian)
Les Opatz (undergraduate education)
Wendy Rahn (political science)
Ann Waltner (history)
Michael Wilson (anthropology)