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Regina Vasilatos-Younken To Become Graduate School Dean

Following a national search, the next Graduate School dean will be an internal hire. The interim dean, Regina Vasilatos-Younken, will become the vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School pending the Board of Trustee’s approval at its May 8 meeting.

Vasilatos-Younken’s Penn State career began nearly 30 years ago, when she worked as a graduate research assistant in 1976. Six years later, she earned a doctorate in animal nutrition and became an assistant professor of poultry science at Penn State. She was a full professor by 1999, then transitioned from studying chickens to administration. She became the associate dean of the Graduate School in 2000.

“The opportunity to provide leadership for graduate education at a university of Penn State’s caliber is an extraordinary privilege,” Vasilatos-Younken said in a press release. “I can think of no more ideal position than in the service of training scholars, a mission that defines the research university. There are many challenges facing higher education today, and Penn State has demonstrated not only resiliency, but continued to advance in excellence in every domain. I believe it is poised to move to an even higher level of achievement and stature. It is a distinct honor to be able to contribute to that effort in this important leadership role.”

Vasilatos-Younken is a highly accomplished animal scientist. In 2004 she was a fellow with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation-Academic Leadership Program. She won a Poultry Science Association Research Award in 1993, a university honor in 1999, and has her name in more than 100 academic articles. She’s earned 30 financial awards to conduct research for both local and federal department of agriculture.

Henry Holey was the dean of the Graduate School until 2013, when he left to serve as the executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Missouri. A national search for a replacement followed, and Vasilatos-Younken emerged the most suitable.

“Our search committee did an extraordinary job in vetting many highly qualified candidates for this appointment,” provost Nick Jones said in a press release. “That [Vasilatos-Younken] emerged from this process as the clear choice speaks volumes about the vision and expertise she will bring to this expanded role: One that is critical to Penn State’s future leadership in graduate education.”

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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