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Campbell to be Named as Interim Dean of OU's University College

June 01, 2012

An expert in student retention has been selected to serve as interim dean of University College, pending approval by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents at its June meeting.

Nicole Judice Campbell, associate dean of University College, will succeed Douglas Gaffin, who asked to return to the classroom to teach, work on biology curriculum and pursue additional research following 10 years of service as dean.

“There is no way to adequately thank Doug Gaffin for his outstanding leadership of University College,” said OU President David L. Boren.  “He has enriched the experience of first-year students at OU in countless ways.  He has played a key role in helping OU achieve the highest graduation rate at a public university in state history.  We are fortunate that Doug Gaffin will remain at OU as one of our most honored faculty members,” Boren said.  “I am especially glad that Nicole Judice Campbell, currently associate dean of University College, has agreed to step into the deanship.  She has worked closely and very effectively with Dean Gaffin and will continue the important initiatives that they have built together.”

Campbell joined the OU faculty in 1998 as a visiting assistant professor of psychology, earning promotions to assistant and then associate professor of psychology, a position she continues to hold in conjunction with her administrative appointment, and later as assistant chair of the department.

Since coming to OU, Campbell has received many awards and honors for teaching and mentoring students, including the Longmire Prize for Exemplary Dedication to Students, Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching, and more recently, the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award, presented by the national Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange at the National Symposium on Student Retention.

She has shared her expertise on topics including student retention and working with at-risk students through numerous articles published in scholarly journals as well as conference presentations and invited talks.

Campbell earned her bachelor of science degree cum laude in psychology from Texas A&M University and both her master of arts and doctoral degrees in psychology from Arizona State University,

University College was founded in 1942 as one of the first academic units in the United States to focus on meeting the special needs of first-year students. Many colleges and universities since then have patterned their first-year experience programs on the University College model.

University College’s efforts are directed at helping new students make a successful transition to the university and building a solid foundation for further academic success. In 2009, the college’s faculty and staff moved into the Lissa and Cy Wagner Student Academic Services Center, which also houses the Writing Center, Graduation Office and Project Threshold, and is in the process of developing a “student services district” in the middle of campus that seeks to improve student success, retention and graduation rates. University College houses several programs and centers dedicated to those goals, including the Assessment Center, Center for Student Advancement, Freshman Programs, and Student Learning Center.