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Dr. Cheryl Contant named academic dean

Posted by Judy Riley on Friday, Nov. 16, 2007

Dr. Cheryl K. Contant has been named as the next vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean at the University of Minnesota, Morris following a national search. UMM Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson made the announcement to the campus community on November 15.

“During her campus visit last month, Dr. Contant impressed the campus community with her intellect, her deep understanding of the role and importance of liberal education in the 21st century, her warmth and good humor and with her responsiveness to and respect for the mission of this institution,” said Chancellor Johnson. “She brings a depth of commitment and expertise that will serve us well as we continue our leadership role in higher education and as we implement our strategic plan.

“Dr. Contant was selected from a pool of truly remarkable candidates,” added Johnson. “I extend my most sincere appreciation to Dr. Bert Ahern, who chaired the search committee, to Jenny Quam, who provided administrative support for the Committee and to all its members.”

I am also grateful to Dr. Judy Kuechle, associate professor of education, who served for more than a year as interim vice chancellor, and to Dr. Roland Guyotte, professor of history, who is serving in the interim position this year,” said Johnson. “Both of these colleagues have provided extraordinary leadership in this role and it has been an honor for me to serve with them.”

"I join with other members of the vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean search committee, I know, in enthusiastically welcoming the appointment of Dr. Cheryl Contant to that position,” said Ahern. “Her selection comes out of a thorough national search, ably assisted by Bill Franklin of Academic Search, Inc. Dr. Contant's record of scholarship and teaching at top-rank institutions, her understanding and commitment to the liberal arts and her record of leadership in academia and in the larger community brought her to the top of the group."

Contant, who earned a doctoral degree in civil engineering form Stanford University, has served since 1999 as professor and director of the City and Regional Planning Program in the College of Architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering, also from Stanford, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Utah. During the 2006-2007 academic year she served as an American Council of Education (ACE) Fellow at Macalester College in St. Paul.

She serves on the Review Committee for Livable Centers Initiative, Atlanta Regional Commission and the Blueprints for Successful Communities Steering Committee, The Georgia Conservancy, among other affiliations. She has also served on the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Institute for Alternative Agriculture and the American Water Resources Association.

Most recently, Contant co-authored Seeking Signs of Success: A Guided Approach to More Effective Watershed Programs. She is also the author or co-author of several other articles and publications on the topics of policy, planning and the environment.

Pending approval by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, Contant will assume her UMM responsibilities in the summer of 2008.