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Interim dean of the Graduate School, vice provost for Graduate Education named – Penn State News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kathryn Drager, associate dean for research and graduate education in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, has been named interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for Graduate Education, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Drager succeeds Regina Vasilatos-Younken, who will retire from Penn State on Dec. 31 after more than 45 years at the University. A national search is underway to identify Vasilatos-Younken’s permanent successor.

“Kathy brings a wealth of knowledge in graduate program success from her work in our College of Health and Human Development as associate dean for research and graduate education,” said Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones. “Her years of leadership experience and background working directly with graduate students is invaluable to the role during this time of transition.”

Penn State’s Graduate School is one of the nation’s largest with more than 13,500 graduate students and more than 3,100 graduate faculty members across 197 graduate fields of study.

The person in this role leads one of the most cutting-edge units as part of a highly interdisciplinary research University. The breadth of graduate degree programs includes 93 research doctorates, seven professional doctorates, 107 research master’s degrees and a growing portfolio of online professional master’s degrees delivered via the World Campus. To date, the Graduate School has awarded over 120,000 graduate degrees.

As interim dean and vice provost, Drager will support graduate teaching and learning at Penn State via various initiatives, including recruiting top-tier graduate students and faculty; promoting diversity, equity and inclusion programs; advancing financial support for graduate students; opening up opportunities for career growth and employment; and connecting with Graduate School alumni around the world. The dean and vice provost also oversees a budget of approximately $21 million in general funds, an operating budget of $5 million and $15 million in student aid funding, as well as a staff of approximately 50 full-time equivalents.

“I am looking forward to working with the incredible team at the Graduate School and continuing in the tradition of supporting the highest quality graduate education of our next interdisciplinary leaders,” said Drager. “The Graduate School provides key leadership to our graduate students and faculty for the progression of their advanced degrees. We have amazing research happening across our campuses that allow both our faculty and our graduate students to advance knowledge in their fields. I look forward to working with the students, faculty, staff and University leadership.”

The Graduate School also oversees the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs, Summer Research Opportunities Program for undergraduate students and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and collaborates with all colleges on various programs and efforts geared toward research and study beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Drager’s efforts in the College of Health and Human Development include facilitating graduate education in all eight College units; collaborating with faculty unit leads and the Graduate Student Council; administering graduate funding programs and endowments; serving as a liaison between the Graduate School and the College; facilitating training grants and matches; and assisting with new graduate program development.

Drager, who also holds the rank of professor of communication sciences and …….

Source: https://www.psu.edu/news/administration/story/interim-dean-graduate-school-vice-provost-graduate-education-named/

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