Permanent Deans Named at SMSU

Kim Watkins, Editor-In-Chief

Southwest Minnesota State University saw both interims being named as permanent deans in decisions following on-campus interviews in mid-February and early March.

Dr. Jan Loft and Dr. Raphael Onyeaghala, both of whom had held the interim dean positions, have been named as Dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences & Dean of the College of Business, Education and Professional Studies, respectively.

Being named as permanent dean, Dr. Loft notes that her long term goals are to contribute to the president’s, Dr. Connie Gores, three principles: support educational excellence and distinctiveness at SMSU, support student learning and success, and help create meaningful partnerships and collaborations. She also looks to continue her projects and endeavors that she is currently working on.

For short term goals, Dr. Loft will continue the “daily and weekly requirements of the position” such as attending meetings, collaborating with other institutions and working with administration and faculty members.

Dr. Loft, who started her term as interim dean in 2011, shares that she “truly appreciates being selected to serve as the Dean of Arts, Letters and Sciences. I’ve been at Southwest since 1988 and it is where I want to be.”

Dr. Onyeaghala looks to continue working  with faculty, departments, programs and administration and to provide the best learning experience for students.

Dr. Onyeaghala, who was also chosen as interim dean in 2011 and made permanent dean this year, shares that “it is an honor to be in this position. It is an exciting time in our institution and I’m glad to be a part of it.”