UMD's Smith School Appoints Dean of Learning

Veteran Educator to Focus on Transforming the Student Experience

Aug 25, 2015, 11:38 ET from University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of an ongoing commitment to transform learning, the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has appointed one of its most accomplished educators to fill a new position focused on the student experience. Professor Joyce E.A. Russell, who served as vice dean prior to the appointment, has assumed responsibilities as Senior Associate Dean of Learning.

"One of the Smith School's key strategic pillars has been to transform learning," Dean Alexander Triantis said. "I am excited that such a talented educator will be taking on this role to ensure that we focus even more attention and resources toward this critical initiative."

Russell, who has won multiple teaching awards during her 30-plus years in academia, will work closely with Triantis and other senior leaders to support educational innovations that cut across program boundaries. She also will listen to student leaders and corporate recruiters, allowing their input to influence decisions.

"When you establish learning goals, you're not just looking at faculty insights," Russell said. "You're looking at what employers want and gaps in the marketplace. We will create learning experiences for our students that are cutting edge and based on what is most needed for them to succeed professionally."

As part of this effort, Russell will ensure compliance with accreditation standards, promote diversity and inclusion at the school, and follow advances in educational technology. "We need to look at innovative delivery methods so we can get a sense of the different ways that people learn today," she said.

Although undergraduate students have different needs than graduate students, Russell said programs at all levels must deliver experiential learning within collaborative communities. And they must foster critical thinking, global mindset, communication skills, ethics and academic integrity. "There are certain things that cut across all programs," she said. "We will learn from each other and share successes."

Overall, Russell said her goal is to enrich the academic experience from the time prospective students are recruited until they become alumni. "The position focuses on learning more than teaching because it covers all aspects of the student experience," she said. "Business education has been disrupted, and we must think about what our portfolio of programs should look like."

Since coming to the University of Maryland in 1998, Russell has consistently been recognized among the top 15 percent of teachers at the Smith School, and she was selected three times for the Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence. Prior to her time at Smith, she received numerous teaching and research awards as a full tenured professor at the University of Tennessee.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Contact: Greg Muraski  at or 301-892-0973.


SOURCE University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business