University College Dean role expanded to include Global Relationships and Academic Program Engagement with area communities


Edna Farace WilsonEdna Farace Wilson, dean of the University College at Fairfield University has been given an expanded role at the institution. Academic Vice President Orin Grossman, on Monday, named Dr. Wilson to the position of Associate Vice President for Global Relationships and Community Engagement and Dean of University College. The change in title will formalize the role of the Academic Vice President's Office in overseeing and expanding international initiatives and facilitating the University's efforts in engaging the local and regional community with the academic programming of the University.

"The changes seek to enhance and strengthen two broad areas of University concern," Dr. Grossman said. "The first area concerns international activities including study abroad coordination, expansion and the welcoming of international students and scholars. In addition, University College has become a major outreach center for the University with the Open Visions series, numerous authors' workshops, and other non-credit cultural activities that bring the academic world and the local community into mutually beneficial relationships," he continued.

Of her new role, Dr. Wilson said, "At this juncture in the institution's history, with our concentrated efforts on implementation of the strategic plan, Fairfield is broadening its community engagement and outreach efforts locally and globally. I'm pleased to play a role in continuing the work we have begun and expanding upon it, integrating academic programs and initiatives more fully into the life of the University and the communities it serves."

Dr. Wilson will work directly with the Academic Vice President on behalf of all schools to broaden international activities in a coordinated way. She will have responsibility for working with deans and faculty members of the various schools to facilitate exchange agreements, expand study abroad opportunities for students in all schools, and provide leadership in making Fairfield a welcoming educational center for students from other nations. She will also work with the deans and faculty to expand partnerships with local cultural and historical organizations and bring greater coherence to our academic outreach in Fairfield County communities. In this regard, she will have the assistance of Dr. Philip Eliasoph, who previously had been appointed Academic Liaison, University Programs for Community Cultural Engagement.

Dr. Wilson will retain the title of Dean of University College, since University College continues to offer independent degrees. The work of University College that focuses on global programs and cultural and public affairs programming will now report directly to the Academic Vice President through Dr. Wilson.

In her expanded role, Dr. Wilson will coordinate academic outreach activities with the other divisions through the steering committee on the Arts, Culture and Community Engagement. The purpose of that committee is to facilitate collaboration among all areas of the University for the development of new community cultural partnerships; to establish a shared vision and priorities that position the University as a whole as an engaged community partner; and to evaluate the effectiveness of specific programs in advancing the mission of the University.

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Media Contact: Martha Milcarek, Asst. Vice President for Public Relations, (203) 254-4190

Posted on February 12, 2008