Dr. Kathleen Hilton, who has served as dean of the School of Graduate Studies for the past seven years, has been named associate vice chancellor for academic planning and special projects at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Dr. Hilton will assume duties of the newly created position in the Office for Academic Affairs on July 1. A national search to find a new dean will commence immediately, and an interim dean will be named.
In her new role, she will work with academic deans and faculty on the development of new undergraduate and graduate programs and on accreditation of existing and new programs. She will be involved in forging agreements and developing exchange programs with international universities.
Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said Dr. Hilton’s tremendous knowledge and experience base make her the ideal person to assume the responsibilities of this new position.
“She will be a valuable asset to us as we continue to move forward with changes in the University system’s new academic planning processes,” Dr. Harrington said. “Her understanding of academic planning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, her great relationships with our academic deans and department chairs, and her work ethic are ingredients for success.
“I am looking forward to her guidance and counsel in the Provost’s Office,” Dr. Harrington said.
Dr. Hilton is excited about working with academic programs of all academic disciplines.
“In my current role, I worked with many departments, and I am looking forward to working across campus,” she said. “Right now, I am focused on ensuring a smooth transition in the Graduate School office for graduate students, program directors, and applicants.
“I’ve enjoyed this office because I was able to work directly with University administration, deans, department chairs, faculty and students,” Dr. Hilton continued. “I’ve learned a lot about the entire campus, and in my new position I will be able to use what I’ve learned.”
Her tenure in the School of Graduate Studies has been a time of enrollment and program growth, she said.
“It is especially pleasing to see growth in graduate enrollment, which is up 90 percent in seven years,” Dr. Hilton said. “We have added the Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Music Education and the Master of Social Work programs.”
Other programs have been restructured to serve prospective students from across the state or relocated to reflect professional changes. The Master of Public Administration program is available completely online and the School Counseling program is offered as a Master of Education in School Counseling after relocating to the School of Education. All programs have increased their emphasis on student research.
“The paradigm for graduate enrollment has shifted to emphasize recruitment,” Dr. Hilton said. “We have established new enrollment management systems and procedures and a solid base of more than 700 graduate students.”
Marketing campaigns that targeted television, radio and newspaper were implemented.
Dr. Hilton, who is a member of the History Department faculty and was director of the Social Studies Education Program, became dean of the graduate school in May 2001. In her new position, Dr. Hilton also hopes to find time to return to classroom and scholarly activities.
“I have been able to retain some relationships with professional associations, and my new position will allow me to spend more time on academics,” she said. “Teaching, research and related service are the most engaging aspects of work in higher education.”
Dr. Hilton won the University Teaching Award in 1998 and was awarded several grants to conduct research on U.S. social history during the Progressive era. Her publications include work on rural Home Demonstration agents.