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Sunday, May 26, 2019

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Colleagues celebrate career of retiring RHE Executive Dean Bill Willan [PHOTOS]


Colleagues, friends, and family gathered at Ohio University’s Southern Campus on Friday, May 10, to celebrate the career of Dr. William “Bill” Willan, who will retire as executive dean for OHIO Regional Higher Education on June 30, 2019.

Since joining the University in 1999, Dr. Willan has served as: coordinator of academic program development for Regional Higher Education; assistant vice president for Regional Higher Education; interim dean of both the Eastern and Southern campuses; associate vice president for academic and student affairs for University Outreach and Regional Campuses; and interim executive director of eLearning OHIO.

He was named dean of the Southern Campus in July 2009 before being promoted to his current position in July 2013.

As executive dean for Regional Higher Education, Dr. Willan is responsible for administrative oversight of Ohio University’s five regional campuses and two centers. Some of his additional responsibilities include: coordinating relationships between the regional campuses and the Athens Campus; overseeing RHE finances; representing the regional campuses and centers across the University, the state and nationally; and promoting the access and outreach mission of the University.

Dr. Willan was instrumental in developing the OHIO for Ohio initiative that seeks to expand Ohio University’s footprint throughout the state, providing access to education, addressing critical needs within communities and strengthening local and the state economies. 

During the retirement celebration, several University colleagues, including President M. Duane Nellis, complimented Dr. Willan for his hard work and dedication and thanked him for his service. 

Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern and interim executive dean of RHE, commended Willan as, “an excellent example of a leader,” calling him a colleague as well as a mentor.

The Electronic Media program at Southern also produced a video compilation that highlights Dr. Willan’s career with remembrances from co-workers across the University system.  

Dr. Pennington and Dr. Willan

University colleagues sent remembrances, letters and well-wishes for Dr. Willan, which were placed into a commemorative book. Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern and interim regional higher education executive dean presented the memento to him at his retirement reception on May 10, 2019.

Bill Willan at reception

Bill Willan (left) shares with laugh with Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis (right) as colleagues recalled his Ohio University career during his retirement reception on May 10, at Ohio University Southern in Ironton. 

Bill Willan with guests

Bill Willan commemorated his retirement with associates from the Athens and Southern campuses, including Kim Keffer (left), associate lecturer and Miki Crawford (center), retired professor of communications, both from Ohio University Southern.

Guests chat during reception

(L-R) Carissa Anderson, assistant dean for RHE; Robert Pleasant, associate dean for resource commons at Ohio University Southern; and Pam Porter, retired executive assistant to the dean at Southern Campus, were among the well-wishers at the retirement reception.

RHE deans

Bill Willan celebrated with numerous colleagues at his retirement reception on May 10. Pictured L-R are: Dr. Charles Bird, vice president of outreach emeritus; Dr. Willan; Dr. Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern and interim executive dean of RHE; and Dr. Dan Evans, former dean of Ohio University Southern.