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Radford Dean Appointed to Vice Provost Position

Old Dominion University announced that Katherine "Kate" Hawkins has been appointed vice provost for faculty affairs and strategic initiatives in the Office of Academic Affairs.

In his letter welcoming Hawkins to the Old Dominion community, Austin Agho, provost and vice president for academic affairs, praised her experience in, and passion for, education.

"She brings to ODU her considerable scholarship, a strong vision for leadership and a passionate commitment to faculty development, interdisciplinary collaboration and shared governance," Agho said.

Hawkins is professor of communication and dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences at Radford University, where she leads 130 full-time faculty and 15 staff members in eight departments and the School of Communication. She oversees 12 major programs and the ROTC program, and manages a budget of more than $11 million.

In his memo, Agho highlighted her expertise in international education and strategic initiatives.

"She has a track record in reviewing and revising the faculty evaluation, tenure and promotion guidelines across the college to foster excellence in and encourage synergies among teaching, research/creativity and service duties," Agho said. "She has chaired a university-wide task force on international education, resulting in numerous enhancements to study 'away' and abroad, and helped establish new exchange relationships with international partner institutions in Australia, Europe, Asia and South America."

Safety is another area of Hawkins' expertise. She led a security studies initiative on homeland security education and training, including emergency planning, intelligence studies, cybersecurity and pandemic preparedness.

She was one of only 32 faculty members and administrators to be invited to attend the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's 2017 national workshop for curriculum development in homeland security education.

As dean, Hawkins led the effort to build the largest academic building on Radford's campus, now operating at more than 140,000 square feet, featuring specialized teaching and research facilities including a trial/moot courtroom, forensics lab and TV studio.

Hawkins earned her bachelor's degree (with distinction) in psychology and sociology from the University of Virginia. She earned both her master's and doctoral degrees in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

Her teaching and research have focused on health communication, particularly as it impacts decisions made by young people.

Hawkins has presented and published her work in national and international scholarly venues and served as editor of Communication Currents, a publication of the National Communication Association. In addition, she has secured and managed more than $7.5 million in external funding.

She served on the faculty at Texas Tech University and at Wichita State University before joining Clemson University as tenured professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies. Hawkins has held leadership positions in a number of regional and national scholarly organizations, including the Southern States Communication Association and the National Communication Association.

Agho thanked Charles Wilson, who chaired the search team and "has been a valued colleague in guiding the faculty development activities and providing strategic insight in this area for the past two years."

He also thanked search team members Debbie Bauman, assistant dean and associate professor of dental hygiene in the College of Health Sciences; Steve Bell, director of Old Dominion's study abroad program; John Cooper, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry; Annette Finley-Croswhite, professor of history; Nancy Grden, executive director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center, Donna Hughes-Oldenburg, head of bibliographic services of University libraries; Ryan Klinger, associate professor of department of management; Lea Lee, professor of teaching and learning; Rick McKenzie, professor and chair of modeling, simulation and visualization engineering; Renee Olander, associate vice president for Regional Higher Education Centers at ODU Virginia Beach Center, and Melvina Sumter, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice.

Agho also thanked Judy Bowman, assistant vice president for undergraduate studies, for her "tireless efforts in staffing the search committee."

Hawkins will start in her new position June 25.

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