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Dean of Academic Services Steers Students to Success

Published: March 15, 2007
A new dean at The University of Tampa will keep students on track during the transition this fall to a four-college structure.

The appointment of Dr. Jin Wang to dean of academic services is designed to strengthen the already extensive academic advising system for students and to combine all support services under one dean.

The dean, who will answer to the provost, will make sure students do not get lost in the system. He also will oversee media services, the Academic Advising Office and the Academic Center for Excellence.

“I will focus my time, energy and resources on academic advising,” Wang said. “Given the rapid growth of the student population and changes in the curriculum, I think students will need more help, so that is my first area of interest.”

Information technology also is a high priority, he said, adding that innovative teaching and communication tools help students and faculty to become more efficient and effective.

“I feel to better serve our students, you need to know all the resources available,” he said. “Tampa is a wonderful city with a lot of wonderful resources that we need to take advantage of.”

Wang serves as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Rowan University in New Jersey. Previously, he was associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. There, he gained experience in developing cutting-edge instructional technology in classrooms and labs, such as teaching stations that include VCRs and DVD players, computers with Internet access, and document readers that project onto an LCD screen.

“We were impressed by a combination of his experience at other institutions in the areas of instructional technology and media services,” said Dr. Scott Paine, associate professor of communication and chair of the dean selection committee. “He is also very student-centered, and it comes out of almost everything he says, which is very important to us at UT.”

Wang’s leadership style also impressed the committee, Paine said, with his can-do attitude and the ability to listen to all parties. Since his is a new position, and one closely related to the goals of reorganization, the dean will have the opportunity to think about how UT does things and how they might be done better, Paine added.

“After a national search process that brought three exceptionally strong finalists to campus for interviews, Dr. Wang was recommended unanimously by the capable and extremely thoughtful search committee headed by Dr. Scott Paine,” UT provost Dr. Janet McNew said in a campus-wide e-mail.

Wang received his Ph.D. in economics from Kansas State University, his master’s degree from Ohio University, and his bachelor’s degree from Zhongshan University in China. Although he has been a U.S. citizen for some years, he was born in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.

He has published works on China’s export markets, U.S.-Japan trade relations, and Brazil’s regional imbalance and its implications for China. He is a Fulbright Scholar who has studied in Brazil and Japan.

The new position was created as part the University’s academic reorganization. UT expands this fall from two colleges to four: College of Arts and Letters, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Social Science, Math and Education, and the John H. Sykes College of Business.