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SIU trustees approve appointments for SIUE deans


From Illinois Business Journal news services

The Southern Illinois University board of trustees, at its regularly scheduled meeting on the Carbondale campus today, approved the dean appointments for the Schools of Engineering and Nursing at the Edwardsville campus.

The board approved contracts for Cem Karacal, PhD, as dean of the School of Engineering and Laura Bernaix, PhD, as dean of the School of Nursing.

The board also approved the contract for Rich Walker as interim vice chancellor for administration at SIUE through May 2017. Additionally, it extended the employment agreement of interim chancellor Stephen Hansen for one month through the end of July 2016.

Karacal takes the reins as dean of the School of Engineering effective Friday, July 1. He has served as interim dean since December 2015. Karacal joined the SOE faculty in 1993 and has served in several School and University-wide capacities. During the last six years, he has emerged as a leader within the SOE serving as the associate dean and director of the cooperative PhD program in engineering science. Previously, he led the industrial engineering program.

Bernaix assumes the role of dean of the School of Nursing effective Friday, July 1. She has served as interim dean since June 2014. She is an alumnus of SIUE and brings 27 years of academic experience as a faculty member at the University. During those years, she has provided significant service to the School and to the University in a variety of roles. She served as chair of the Department of Primary Care and Health Systems Nursing from 2009-2013 when her role expanded to also serve as associate dean.

Walker steps into the interim role as Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher has announced his intention to retire at the end of May 2016. Walker currently serves as the assistant vice chancellor for administration for planning and budgeting, a position to which he was appointed in 2001.

Although the selection process for a new SIUE chancellor is nearing completion with the expectation of meeting the start date of July 1, 2016, the board supported the need for Hansen’s availability to ensure a smooth leadership transition by providing support, community visits and related administrative services for the new chancellor.

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