College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

New dean named to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Susanne Monahan

Dr. Susanne Monahan. Photo by Kelly Gorham.

Dr. Susanne Monahan will join Western Oregon University as the new dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, beginning the 2013-14 academic year. Monahan comes to WOU from Montana State University, where she has been since 1995.

“I am excited to be joining the committed team of faculty and staff at Western Oregon, and to join with them to help Western’s students connect a broad and rigorous liberal arts education with their futures in the workforce and as engaged citizens,” said Monahan.

WOU President Mark Weiss said, “Speaking on behalf of the university’s search committee, the faculty, staff and students of WOU, and myself, we are delighted that Dr. Monahan will join the Western family in serving our students. Sue is an engaging individual that established an immediate connection during the interview process and distinguished herself from a pool of candidates from across the nation. Please join me in welcoming her to our campus.”

Currently, she serves as associate dean for curricular and program development and acting director of the Liberal Studies Program. In these positions, she directed an interdisciplinary program with more than 200 students and helped establish MSU’s first online undergraduate degree program. Prior to these positions, she served as the chair for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in addition to being on faculty. She also served as the director of MSU’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE Leadership award, where she established an informal mentoring network among female faculty and implemented professional development activities.

Monahan’s research focuses on the effects of organizational structure on participants. Her work has examined how clergy and lay people divide work in churches, how organizations buffer workers from competing environmental demands, and how compliance with HIPAA regulations affects patient-doctor communication. Monahan has co-authored two books, “What Sociology Teaches Us About Religion in Our World” and “Sociology of Religion: A Reader,” both released in 2010. In 2012, she authored a chapter for “Cinematic Sociology” called “Seeing Religion Sociologically Through Film.” Her research has been published in journals such as Justice Quarterly, Theoretical Criminology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Monahan served as a project leader for a grant from the National Institutes of Health called “Hospital as organizations and health disparities.” Monahan earned an A.M. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in sociology and received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in sociology/anthropology and economics.

Monahan will replace Dr. Diane Tarter, who is currently serving as interim dean in place of Dr. Stephen Scheck, who was promoted to WOU’s vice president for academic affairs.

One thought on “New dean named to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  1. I have to applaud thIS WOU decision. I am Veronica Garcia, T.A. Professor from Montana State University where Pf. Monahan was Assistant Dean. I daresay that Pf. Monahan is one of most outstanding and valuable scholars and member of the Administration that I ever met in my academic life in the USA and in Spain. She will missed in MSU.

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