College of Arts and Sciences’ Lois Agnew Appointed Associate Provost for Academic Programs
Agnew will support efforts to develop a curriculum that effectively meets the changing needs of students in today’s higher education landscape.
Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gretchen Ritter has appointed Lois Agnew to the position of associate provost for academic programs. Agnew, who has served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) since July 2022, takes on her new responsibilities effective July 1, following the decision by Associate Provost Chris Johnson to return to full-time faculty duties in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Agnew’s appointment was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
“Lois has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and scholarship in a variety of roles over the last several years,” says Ritter. “From the time she was named associate dean of A&S through her service as interim dean, along with her role in helping refresh the Academic Strategic Plan, Lois has been at the center of our efforts to advance excellence in academic affairs and ensure an unparalleled student academic experience. She is a gifted scholar, teacher and leader.”
A member of the Syracuse University community since 2004 and professor of writing and rhetoric, Agnew was named A&S associate dean of curriculum, innovation and pedagogy in July 2017. Other administrative positions held by Agnew include interim chair of the Department of African American Studies, chair of the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition and director of undergraduate studies for the writing program.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to work with colleagues in Academic Affairs and across the University to support the dynamic teaching and learning environment outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan,” says Agnew. “Specifically, I am excited about expanding faculty involvement in the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; ensuring that our academic processes are transparent and support a diverse population of students; and exploring ways that our curriculum can more effectively meet the changing needs of students in today’s higher education landscape.”
Agnew has described her arrival at Syracuse as “a gift” because it provided her an opportunity “to join a community of strong, committed and generous faculty and staff colleagues and to work with talented and dedicated graduate and undergraduate students.” She was a key player on the team that updated the liberal arts core; established a professional development program to build community among teaching faculty in A&S; coordinated the development of health humanities and digital humanities integrated learning majors; and organized A&S’s annual undergraduate research festival. Agnew has received multiple honors and awards, including the 2015 William Wasserstrom Prize for the Teaching of Graduate Students, the 2011 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award and the 2007 Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.
Agnew’s research specializes in rhetorical history, with a primary focus on British rhetorical theories. She has published more than 25 journal articles, book chapters and two books, with a third book forthcoming. Before working at Syracuse University, Agnew was assistant professor of English at Rockford University (formerly Rockford College) in Illinois, where she served as chair of the Department of English and director of the Writing Center.
Agnew received a Ph.D. in English from Texas Christian University and a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.
This article originally appeared on the SU News website on April 14, 2023.
Lois Agnew Interim Dean of A&S, Professor