July 15, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Father Garanzini and I wish to share the good news that Walter S. Pearson, PhD, of Lewis University, has been named the new dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). Dr. Pearson succeeds Janet Deatherage, PhD, acting dean, who will return this summer to her appointment as SCPS associate dean.

Dr. Pearson comes to Loyola with extensive experience as an innovative and collaborative leader in adult and continuing higher education. He previously served as dean of New College at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and as associate academic dean and director of evening, weekend, and graduate programs at Simpson College in Iowa. Dr. Pearson also held academic appointments as an assistant professor at both St. Edward’s University and Simpson College, and currently at Lewis University. His broad administrative involvement at his previous institutions includes service on governance bodies that set academic policy, along with strategic planning and budgeting committees.

Currently, Dr. Pearson serves as the dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Education at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. In that role, he works with more than 200 faculty members and five deans to provide undergraduate degree completion and graduate programs for working adults, offered online and at six campuses. Dr. Pearson’s program development achievements in adult and continuing education have consistently demonstrated a focus on quality, convenience, flexibility, and affordability. I am confident that Dr. Pearson’s strengths in administration, program development, marketing, recruitment, strategic action, and technology will serve Loyola well.

Dr. Pearson holds a BA in labor studies from Antioch University, an MA in adult and continuing education from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University. Actively engaged at the national level in professional associations, Dr. Pearson serves on the Board of Trustees of the Association for Continuing and Higher Education (ACHE), as well as on a task force of the Higher Learning Commission to develop an academy on enhancing student persistence.

Dr. Pearson will officially begin his appointment at Loyola on August 1, 2013.

Father Garanzini and I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to Dr. Janet Deatherage for her willingness to serve as acting dean of the SCPS for the past two years and for her excellent efforts on behalf of the school. She, along with other members of the search committee—Dr. Patrick Boyle, vice provost for academic centers and global initiatives; Dr. Marian Claffey, associate provost for academic administration; Thomas Kelly, senior vice president for administrative services and chief human resource officer; Joanna Pappas, director of academic business operations; and Paul Roberts, associate provost for enrollment management—worked diligently with me to identify a highly qualified pool of candidates and participated in candidate interviews throughout the fall and spring semesters. The committee was assisted by Dennis Barden, a consultant with the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

Please join me in welcoming Walter Pearson to his new leadership role at Loyola University Chicago.


John Pelissero, PhD