By Claire Navarro
As the professional and continuing education division of Arts & Sciences, University College offers wide range of degree options, certificates, and educational opportunities for a diverse student body. Patricia Matthews, the newly appointed associate dean for academics in University College, looks forward to overseeing and developing these widespread efforts in her new role.
“My favorite evening of the year is the University College recognition ceremony: hearing the stories of our remarkable graduates and seeing them celebrate their achievement with family,” Matthews says. “I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to those stories by expanding educational opportunities for the St. Louis community and making student experiences in University College as rewarding as possible.”
Matthews is a familiar face at University College, where she previously served as director of the Summer School. This experience will prove valuable as associate dean for academics, says Mark Rollins, dean of University College.
“Pat has been enormously successful in running the Summer School, which not only involves planning courses for summer session but also running many programs of various kinds,” Rollins says. “This requires an appreciation for the intellectual content of courses and an ability to work well with faculty and administrators across the university.”
As she shifts into her new position, Matthews is eager to develop partnerships and hear new ideas. “I would like the A&S community to know that I am enthusiastic about working with colleagues across Arts & Sciences and the university. I welcome hearing about ideas at any stage and thinking creatively about how to integrate and implement them into University College offerings.”
Rollins, who took the helm of University College this fall, sees opportunities ahead. As a new leadership team, he and Matthews are particularly excited to work with partners in Arts & Sciences and across the university to expand online education.
“One priority for University College is to strengthen, integrate, and extend online education,” says Matthews. “Online courses take many forms, and I think it is possible to build online and hybrid courses that extend our reach while maintaining the interactive, high-touch quality of our face-to-face courses.” Such online offerings will complement University College’s current and future degree programs, noncredit workshops, and symposia.
“It is crucial that University College offer courses of high academic quality that serve the needs of a diverse student body and that fit into a well-designed curriculum with programs, degrees, and majors that have been carefully planned,” Rollins explains. “The associate dean for academics provides leadership for all of these efforts."
According to Rollins, Matthews is uniquely suited to take on these challenges. “Pat is exceptionally thoughtful, creative, and hardworking. She has substantial academic and administrative experience. And she is a wonderful colleague. I can think of no one better suited to take on the responsibilities of associate dean for academics.”