Dateline: February 26, 2020
After an extensive, nationwide search that produced a number of highly-qualified candidates, Athens State University has appointed Dr. Lee Vartanian as Dean of the College of Education effective July 2020.
Dr. Vartanian received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Auburn University and then went on to earn his master’s degree in early childhood education and Ph.D. in urban services at Old Dominion University. He has an accomplished career in the field of education, spending 14 years as a professor at Lander University and another three years of teaching second and third graders at elementary schools in Virginia and South Carolina.
As Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Lander University, Dr. Vartanian facilitated new programs in secondary chemistry education and a master’s in teaching and learning with a concentration in the Montessori Method. He also served as the Campus Director of Lander University Teaching Fellows. Throughout his career, he has had several academic works published in the fields of English Language Learners and Teaching Math to Children, and he has presented at a number of conferences throughout the Southeast.
Dr. Vartanian brings to the role a deep knowledge of current changes in the Higher Education landscape, an openness to new ideas, experience in strategic planning and accreditation, collaboration around new program development, multiple years of supervisory experience, including evaluation of faculty, and noteworthy service on a local Board of Education.
During his interview, Dr. Vartanian articulated a strong commitment to excellence in course content, informed by collaboration in decision making and the need for stakeholder engagement. “These are extremely important values needed as we chart new directions in the College of Education at Athens State,” said Dr. Joe Delap, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Vartanian recently authored a Quality Assurance System that included systematic, clearly-defined practices for setting improvement goals and using purposeful data to assess progress. This system has already evidenced improvement in efficacy and intentionality within programs.
In his initial letter of application, Dr. Vartanian expressed he “found that the biggest capital within the university is the relationships that are built within a department, across colleges, and amongst faculty and staff. Building rapport and trust amongst diverse faculty and community members is crucial for seizing important opportunities to develop innovative programs.” Dr. Delap noted, “In one-on-one conversations with Dr. Vartanian, his commitment to pedagogy that is informed by scholarship and research nationally and internationally came out as a particular strength.”
“The College of Education at Athens State has a long history of training diverse, dynamic teachers who make a difference in the lives of whom they teach,” stated Dr. Vartanian. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to advance our mission of preparing knowledgeable, reflective, and collaborative teachers.”