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Dean's Office Leadership Team Announcement

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

I am sharing news of a departure in our leadership team. Joy Ward, our associate dean for research in the sciences, was named today as the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She will leave her role as associate dean by the end of February as she makes the transition from KU to this new opportunity.

Associate Dean Ward has made a number of contributions to our research mission during her time in the Dean’s Office. In partnership with Associate Dean Tamara Falicov, she developed several initiatives for the College, including the Research Excellence Initiative, Sneakers & Scholarship, Coffee with a Colleague, and research collaboration opportunities. The Research Excellence Initiative awarded about $850,000 in its first two years. The first cycle of funding, awarded in spring 2018, has generated a return of $7 in external funding for every $1 awarded by the College. She has also contributed to various critical decisions at the College and has been integrally involved in hiring processes in the sciences over the Fall 2019 semester.

As a Dean’s Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Ward has long-term funding from the National Science Foundation through her work in plant biology, and she has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama, the NSF CAREER Award, as well as several awards from KU. She is also a Kavli Fellow and served as U.S. chair for the National Academy’s Frontier of Sciences through the Japanese-American and Arab-American programs. Her research has led to major advances in understanding plant responses to a rapidly changing global environment. She has mentored many successful students at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels, and she has been a mentor for several National Institutes of Health programs to enhance diversity in STEM fields.

I appreciate all that Associate Dean Ward has contributed to the College and KU. Please join me in congratulating her on this new role and thanking her for her service.  



John Colombo, PhD

Interim Dean

Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies

Professor of Psychology