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We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jill Granger as the new Dean of The Honors College at Western Carolina University. She also will be joining the WCU faculty as a tenured, full professor of chemistry. Her previous position was associate dean of academic affairs and director of the Honors Program at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
She will be filling a vacancy created by the departure of Brian Railsback, founding dean of WCU’s Honors College. Railsback stepped down from the post at the end of the 2014-15 academic year to resume teaching, writing, and researching as a faculty member in the Department of English.
“The Honors College, which provides a rigorous academic and social environment to more than 1,400 high-achieving students, is a signature academic unit and a significant point of pride for Western Carolina University,” Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar said. “Dr. Granger has the expertise, the experience, the enthusiasm and the energy to lead the Honors College and to guide the continuing success of this pillar of distinction.”
“From the start, I have been very impressed by the level of student participation, leadership and engagement in the Honors College at WCU,” Dean Granger said. “This speaks, I think, to a strong foundation on which the program was built. Very clearly the Honors College has strong support at WCU. I’ve had great conversations with many program stakeholders, faculty, advisers, administrators and staff, who are all invested in the future of the program. I think this is a very exciting time at WCU.”
Granger was selected by the American Association of University Women of Virginia as “education advocate of the year” for 2007. She has an extensive record of academic publications and presentations, and has written grants that have brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in external funding. She has mentored Sweet Briar students and helped them go on to top graduate and professional schools across the country.