Savaiano appointed interim dean of new Honors College
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Dennis Savaiano, associate provost and professor of nutrition science, has been named interim dean of Purdue University's new Honors College.
The Honors College, approved by the Board of Trustees on July 12, is expected to admit first-year students for fall 2013. The college will provide all honors students with central recruiting, advising, residential learning opportunities and cross-disciplinary opportunities.
Savaiano headed a task force that spent the last academic year consulting with the University Senate, deans, the Teaching Academy, Purdue Student Government and each college on formation of the Honors College.
"Our Honors College, with its focus on academic excellence and leadership, is designed to attract high-achieving students who will thrive in a dynamic learning environment," said Timothy D. Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost and Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering. "During his work with the task force, Dr. Savaiano demonstrated a passion and vision that makes him well-suited to begin carrying out our goal of providing a challenging and rewarding experience for Purdue's top students."
Savaiano's appointment will extend through the 2011-2012 fiscal year. During that time, a search will be conducted for a permanent dean, with a targeted starting date of July 1, 2012.
The Honors College will build on the University Honors Program, which began in 2004.
"A major goal of the university's strategic plan is to build leaders by enhancing the undergraduate experience," Savaiano said. "Key components of achieving that goal are integrating the university and various college-level honors programs into a comprehensive and robust unit and bringing higher-profile students to Purdue. The Honors College will allow us to accomplish both of those goals."
The University Honors Program had 450 students this past academic year. In addition, more than 800 students were in five college-specific honors programs. The enrollment goal of the Honors College is 2,000 students.
Savaiano was dean of consumer and family sciences from 1995-2010. During his time as dean, enrollment in CFS grew by 25 percent to more than 2,000 students. The college implemented new honors, scholarship and multicultural programs and had an eightfold increase in research and gift funding.
Savaiano has studied lactose intolerance for more than 25 years, identifying dietary factors that can promote adequate calcium intake for the 25 percent of the U.S. population and 75 percent of the world's population that suffer from the problem.
A native of California, Savaiano earned a bachelor's degree from Claremont McKenna College and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Davis. He was a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota from 1980-1995, when he came to Purdue.
Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, email@example.com
Sources: Timothy Sands, 765-494-9709, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Savaiano, 765-494-0819, email@example.com