UW Trustees Approve Dean and Interim Dean Appointments

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has removed the “interim” titles for two academic deans and changed the titles of two other deans from “acting” to “interim.”

Jenna Shim, who has led UW’s College of Education as interim dean since May 2023, is now the John P. “Jack” Ellbogen Dean of the college. And Cass Kvenild, who has been interim dean of UW Libraries since August 2023, was appointed as dean.

Meanwhile, moving from acting dean to interim dean are Kelly Crane, of the College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources; and Michelle Hilaire, of the College of Health Sciences.

The Board of Trustees approved the appointments Thursday.

“These individuals have stepped up to provide key leadership in their respective colleges, and we are delighted they will continue in these important roles,” Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman says. “There are some exciting projects and initiatives underway in the three colleges and UW Libraries, and these appointments will help assure that those efforts move forward.”

Shim, a professor in the School of Teacher Education, served as associate dean for three years before becoming interim dean. She joined the UW faculty in 2009 and also has served as associate director in the School of Education; program coordinator for the English as a second language (ESL) graduate program in the School of Teacher Education; and founder of the annual Wyoming ESL and DLI (dual language immersion) Conference.

Shim earned a B.A. in piano performance at California State University (1994) and an M.M. in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music (1996). She received her teaching certificate in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) from the University of California-Los Angeles (2001); and an M.S. in literacy education (2006), a CAS in literacy education (2007) and a Ph.D. in language and literacy education (2009), all from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Kvenild has held several administrative roles at UW. Before being appointed as interim dean, she served as associate dean of libraries. She was assistant dean of scholarship and research from 2018-19 and interim associate dean from 2015-16 and 2017-18, respectively. Kvenild is a UW graduate, earning her B.A. in English with honors in 1996 before receiving her Master of Library Sciences from the University of Washington.

Crane served as senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources before becoming acting dean in December 2023. He held the position of assistant professor/range extension specialist at the University of Idaho from 2008-2011. He joined UW in 2001 as associate director for UW Extension and senior extension educator. In 2019, he was appointed associate dean and director of UW Extension. In addition to being named senior associate dean in 2022, he assumed the role of director of the Ranch Management and Agricultural Leadership Program.

Crane holds a Ph.D. in rangeland ecology and management and a Master of Science in range management, both from UW.

Hilaire, who became acting dean of the College of Health Sciences in January, holds a faculty appointment as clinical professor in the School of Pharmacy, which she joined as a faculty member in 2004. She received a Doctor of Pharmacy from Duquesne University in 2002. Before becoming senior associate dean of the College of Health Sciences, she served as chair of pharmacy practice and associate dean of academic affairs in the School of Pharmacy, followed by associate dean of student affairs in the College of Health Sciences.

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