EDINBORO UNIVERSITY College appoints 2 new deans

Staff report

edinboro, pa.

The start of the 2013-14 academic year brings with it big changes at Edinboro University. The university has adopted a new Academic Affairs organizational structure — one that divides the College of Arts & Sciences to create the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Health Professions — and with this reorganization comes the addition to the Edinboro family of two new campus leaders: Steven Combs, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Nathan Ritchey, dean of the College of Science & Health Professions.

“Dr. Combs and Dr. Ritchey both come to Edinboro with strong professional experience that will support positive change, focusing on student success and excellence as key drivers for decision-making,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Hannan. “With the university, and all of higher education, facing financial challenges, both deans will also be expected to work with their faculty and other university leaders to offer quality programs in the most resource-efficient manner possible.”

Hannan said Combs will lead the development within his college of “programs that are relevant and attractive for today’s students and which will lead to growth.” Similarly, Ritchey will be tasked with focusing on growth in his area, focusing “resources, attention and planning on growth in the science, health and related professions and areas of study,” Hannan said.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences includes the departments of communication and media studies; English and liberal studies; history, anthropology and world languages; political science and criminal justice; and sociology as well as the school of visual and performing arts, encompassing the music and art departments.

“Edinboro has many strong programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, but there is room for development of interdisciplinary programs among the departments and for innovation in better representing the value of these programs for new growth,” Hannan said. “As the University considers a new model for its general education program during the next few years, Dr. Combs will also be called upon to ensure that his discipline areas provide leadership and support in the development of a strong liberal education for all students.”

Combs is the former dean (2009-12) of Hawaii Pacific University’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences. A graduate of University of Southern California (doctorate in communication arts and sciences; bachelor of arts with dual majors in political science and communication arts and sciences) and the University of Kansas (master of arts in communication studies), Combs taught communication studies for 12 years at Loyola Marymount University before joining Hawaii Pacific University as a professor in 2006.

Ritchey comes to Edinboro from Youngstown State University, where he was chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for many years and also served as an Interim Associate Provost. Ritchey has published widely in medicine and mathematics, including several textbooks in mathematics. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (doctorate in mathematics; master of science in applied mathematics) and Mansfield University of Pennsylvania (bachelor of arts in mathematics).

The College of Science & Health Professions includes the departments of biology and health services; chemistry; geosciences; math and computer science; nursing; physics and technology; psychology; social work; and speech, language and hearing.

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