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Leadership Shuffle

Cal State LA Administration Play Another Round of Musical Chairs

New hire, Jeffrey Underwood, Associate Vice President of Research

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New hire, Jeffrey Underwood, Associate Vice President of Research

Anthony Karambelas, Staff Reporter

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Over the summer three new personnel filled vacant administrative positions at Cal State LA. Regardless of major, all students will be affected in some way by at least one of the changes in administration. Over the summer three new personnel filled vacant administrative positions at Cal State LA. Regardless of major, all students will be affected in some way by at least one of the changes in administration.

The three new positions include: Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of the College of Business and Economics, and Associate Vice President for Research. Cal State LA’s Provost, Lynn Mahoney, assures all students that the three selected candidates are capable of fulfilling their new duties.

Dr. Michelle Hawley was appointed the new Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate studies on June 1. Hawley has been an active member of Cal State LA since 1999, where she began working as a full-time faculty member. Throughout her career, she served as Founding Director of the Honors College and has remained interim dean since 2015.

Hawley created the Honors College by consolidating the Early Entrance  Program — a unique opportunity for highly gifted 11-16 year olds to enroll as full-time college freshmen—as well as President’s Scholars. Notably, her work for the Honors College includes forming the Honors curriculum and the National and International Scholarships and Fellowships Program.

Under Hawley’s direction, the Honors College developed a four-year program emphasizing civic engagement, knowledge creation, and leadership. Working with faculty, she helped shape the Honors roadmap into what it is today. In their first year, students explore the city of Los Angeles, and in their final year, they finish with a culminating thesis.

Hawley also ensured that the Honors College served the greater population of Cal State LA. She helped spread access to the National and International Scholarships and Fellowships Program (NISFeP) so that any student can request help from scholarship advisors if they desire.

Since she began her duties as interim dean in 2015, Hawley has proven herself an instrument of change. In 2016, her department created Smart Start, a program aiding freshmen students enrolled in developmental coursework. She has also formed an initiative to ease the transfer process for matriculating students.

Since Aug. 1, the new Associate Vice President for Research has been Dr. Jeffrey Underwood. His duties provide Cal State LA with sufficient external funding in order to produce a greater number of research opportunities.

Stemming from Georgia Southern University, Underwood helped increase undergraduate research opportunities within the Department of Geology and Geography. During his time chairing at Georgia Southern, his department established a Master of Science degree program, increased faculty and generated more research outlets.

Also, the new Dean of College and Business, Dr. Rami Maysami, started his duties on Aug. 1. This is not his first deanship. At the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, he served as Dean of the School of Business, leading his school to be accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). He currently serves as Dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University, where he helped them reaffirm their AACSB accreditation. He has served on multiple AACSB peer review teams and has helped numerous business schools receive accreditation.

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