CORVALIS - Sally K. Francis, an Oregon State University faculty member and administrator since 1982, has been named dean of the university's Graduate School.

Francis had been serving as interim dean since June of 1999. She replaced Tom Maresh, who retired.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity," Francis said. "Graduate education is so critical to our mission as a research university. I recognize the responsibility of this job and the importance of graduate programs to the university's reputation."

As dean of the Graduate School, Francis will help guide the university's graduate programs, which encompass more than 70 different disciplines. Every college at the university is involved in graduate education. The university has nearly 3,000 graduate students, representing every state in the U.S. and 90 different countries.

Francis said OSU graduate students go on to become professors and researchers around the country as well as work in private industry. "They are our next generation of leaders, in both academia and industry," she said.

Francis will work with the university's Graduate Council to conduct in-depth program reviews to guarantee quality programs. In addition, she will help review curriculum, secure financial support for graduate students and interpret the university's vision for graduate education into strategies that reflect identified priorities and goals.

"As dean of the Graduate School, you literally deal with every aspect of the university," Francis said.

Provost Tim White said Francis has a superb set of leadership skills and clear vision for the Graduate School.

"There is no doubt she will continue to be a strong advocate for the school with her enthusiasm and energy," White said.

Francis has been a professor and head of the Department of Apparel, Interiors, Housing and Merchandising. She also has served in numerous leadership roles, including president of the OSU Faculty Senate in 1995 and president of the International Textile and Apparel Association in 2000.

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Sally K. Francis, 541-737-4881