University of New Mexico Provost & Executive Vice President Chaouki Abdallah has announced that Gary Harrison, interim dean of Graduate Studies, is stepping down from the position effective Sept. 30, 2012. He was appointed interim dean Aug. 1, 2011. An internal search for the position of dean in the Office of Graduate Studies (OCS) will soon begin.

"Dr. Harrison has distinguished himself as a faculty member and in the last three years in the Office of Graduate Studies," said Abdallah. "He has provided steady leadership during his tenure quickly establishing himself as a leader in the area of graduate student success. Dr. Harrison is at heart an educator and he will be going back to the faculty to continue his service to UNM as a teacher and faculty member. I want to personally thank him for all of his contributions and dedication to Graduate education."

For the past three years, Harrison has served as associate dean, acting dean and interim dean Graduate Studies at UNM. He has helped to develop the Graduate Resource Center, a Title-V "Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans" funded center for graduate academic support at UNM.

He has helped to redesign the teaching assistant training program; inaugurated on-line training for graduate students holding assistantships; overseen website and communications enhancements for OGS; introduced new graduate scholarships and fellowships, including two scholarship programs for minority doctoral students and graduate students with financial need; and worked with the Faculty Senate Graduate Committee to implement new or improved policies regarding academic progress for graduate students; and to enhance graduate recruitment efforts and to revamp data management and business systems at OGS.

Harrison came to the Office of Graduate Studies following years of involvement in graduate education and administration. He served more than five years as director of graduate studies in the Department of English where he had a major role in developing comprehensive orientation and professional advisement programs for a large and ethnically diverse graduate student population.

He was part of the team that developed UNM's BA/MD program, serving first as the BA/MD curriculum director, then as the student outcomes assessment and program evaluation coordinator. He also served as associate chair for curriculum in English. His many teaching awards culminated with the university's highest award, the Presidential Teaching Fellowship, which he currently holds. A specialist in romanticism and world literature, he is co-editor of three major world literature anthologies currently used nationwide.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: kwent2@unm.edu