UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Dean Petersen Will Step Down

110310Headline_PetersenDr. James C. Petersen, who has been dean of the Graduate School since 2002, is stepping down from the position effective June 30, 2011.

A search committee will be named soon, said Provost David H. Perrin, who praised Petersen’s work.

“The new doctoral and master’s degree programs established during Jim’s tenure as dean helped UNCG attain its current Carnegie classification as a Research University with High Research Activity,” Perrin said. “His tireless advocacy for additional support for graduate students has enhanced our competitiveness for the top students throughout the state and nation.”

Petersen is a tenured professor in the Department of Sociology and plans to teach after stepping down as dean. He came to UNCG from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for research 1999-2002. He holds a doctorate from the University of Iowa.

In addition to his administrative duties, Petersen worked with UNCG’s academic leadership to develop and expand graduate programs. As dean, he formulated and implemented policies to facilitate the work of faculty in graduate education, provided leadership in recruiting and retention of graduate students, and developed criteria for evaluating and for guaranteeing quality in UNCG’s graduate programs. He also worked to further UNCG’s research mission.

During Petersen’s years, UNCG has added 12 doctoral programs, six master’s degree programs and 22 graduate certificates. From May 2003 to May 2010, the annual number of graduates increased 64 percent for doctorates, 69 percent for Education Specialist degrees, 9.5 percent for master’s degrees, and 226 percent for graduate certificates.

There was also a substantial increase in support for graduate students. Between the 2002-03 and 2009-10 academic years, the total value of graduate assistant stipends increased by 76 percent and the total value of tuition waivers increased by 73 percent. During this period the university also began providing health insurance for all categories of graduate assistants.

The Graduate School has installed new software to improve the handling of inquiries about graduate education opportunities and a new system for online applications to graduate programs. It has established a development program for private giving and hired our first Director of Development. The Graduate School also established a newsletter, Eunomia, to increase the visibility of graduate programs and the accomplishments of our graduate students.

Visual: Dean Petersen (right) presenting an award to a student at the 2005 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Convocation.

By Steve Gilliam

Photograph by David Wilson