A number of key leadership positions have been filled in recent months around Grounds. The following is a brief introduction to the people who will help guide the University in coming years.
Dean of the College Arts & Sciences
Meredith Jung-En Woo, an expert on international political economy and East Asian politics, became dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences on June 1. Woo, 49, most recently served as associate dean for social sciences at the University of Michigan.
University President John T. Casteen III notes that Woo’s deep understanding of global issues should serve her well as she also leads the College in building international programs.
Educated in Seoul and Tokyo through high school, Woo came to the United States in 1976 and graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College, majoring in English literature and history. She received M.A. degrees in international affairs and Latin American studies, and a Ph.D. in political science (1988), all from Columbia University. Woo succeeds historian Edward L. Ayers, who became president of the University of Richmond in 2007, and interim dean Karen Ryan, a professor of Russian language and literature.
Dean of Students
Allen W. Groves, a 1990 graduate of the School of Law, became the University’s associate vice president and dean of students on June 1 after serving as interim dean for nine months. Groves, 48, is responsible for numerous offices that affect the daily lives of University students, including the Center for Alcohol and Substance Education, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Newcomb Hall, Orientation and New Student Programs, Off-Grounds Housing and Residence Life. A practicing attorney with significant expertise in labor and employment-related matters, Groves left a partnership with Seyfarth Shaw of Atlanta to join the University and pursue his longtime interest in higher education. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Stetson University in 1982. He succeeds Penny Rue, who resigned in August 2007 to become vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California, San Diego.
Dean of the Medical School
Steven T. DeKosky, an international leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research, became vice president and dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine on Aug. 1. DeKosky, 61, was most recently chairman of the Department of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. DeKosky is familiar with the University: He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neurochemistry at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Center in UVA’s Department of Neurology, and his first academic appointment was in that department in 1979. DeKosky succeeds pediatrician Sharon L. Hostler, who served as interim vice president and dean after former dean Arthur “Tim” Garson was appointed provost in May 2007.
Dean of the Nursing School
Dorrie K. Fontaine, who has dedicated much of her 36-year nursing career to advocating for better care for critically ill patients, became dean of the School of Nursing on Aug. 1. Fontaine, 57, most recently served as associate dean for academic programs at the University of California-San Francisco School of Nursing. Her research focuses on comfort for critically ill patients, pain relief and family presence at end of life. Another key interest is promoting healthy work environments for nurses and hospital colleagues.
A career registered nurse, Fontaine also cites the challenges of the nursing shortage as an area on which she plans to focus in her role at UVA. She succeeds Jeanette Lancaster, who stepped down in July after 19 years at the helm of the Nursing School.
Dean of the Law School
Paul G. Mahoney, a University of Virginia law professor, became dean of the School of Law on July 1. Mahoney, 49, an expert in corporate law who joined the law faculty in 1990, served as academic associate dean from 1999 to 2004, administering the school’s curriculum and academic policies. He has received an All-University Outstanding Teaching Award and the Law School’s Traynor Award for excellence in research. His teaching and research areas include securities regulation, law and economic development, corporate finance, financial derivatives and contracts. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1984, he clerked for Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr. of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Before joining the University, Mahoney practiced law with the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
Mahoney succeeds John C. Jeffries Jr., who will return to teach full time in the Law School after a yearlong sabbatical.
Vice President for Research
Thomas C. Skalak, professor and chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine, became vice president for research on Aug. 1. Skalak intends to promote a University research culture that supports innovation and pan-University collaboration. As part of this role, he will lead the development and promotion of institutional research priorities and themes, assist faculty members in developing new research areas, encourage investment in research infrastructure and help faculty members pursue creative scholarship.
An expert in microvascular structure and function, Skalak has been a member of the UVA faculty since 1986. Skalak received his bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.
Skalak succeeds R. Ariel Gomez, who stepped down after five years in the post.
Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Billy K. Cannaday Jr., a veteran educator who most recently served as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, will become dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies on Oct. 1. Cannaday, 58, will be charged with developing methods for effectively using digital instruction in the classroom and distance-learning programs, and increasing the school’s state and international outreach. He received a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in 1972, a master’s degree in educational administration from Hampton University in 1980 and a doctorate in educational administration from Virginia Tech in 1990.
He succeeds Sondra Stallard, who became president of Strayer University in 2007, and interim Dean Lynda Phillips-Madson.