Next dean selected for IUPUC

The next leader of the four-year university campus in Columbus — currently a dean at an Illinois university — has been selected.

Nasser Paydar, chancellor at IUPUI, on Thursday announced the selection of Governors State University dean Reinhold Hill to become IUPUC’s new vice chancellor and dean, the top position at the Columbus campus.

Hill, who was selected from three finalists, is an English professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois.

He will replace Larry Richards, who took on the role of interim vice chancellor and dean in July after former vice chancellor and dean Marwan Wafa left IUPUC for a job at Pennsylvania State University’s Worthington campus.

The IUPUC vice chancellor is the campus CEO and reports to the IUPUI chancellor. Externally, the vice chancellor is responsible for relationships with the supporting universities and with community partners; internally, he or she is the chief operating officer and, as dean, provides leadership for curricular, faculty and student affairs.

“Reinhold brings a broad range of academic experiences as well as a deep understanding of higher education to the leadership of IUPUC,” Paydar said in a news release.

“His strong history of supporting student-success initiatives, especially student recruitment and retention, will make an impact at IUPUC, which is such a valuable part of the Columbus community.”

A folklorist by trade, Hill said he chose to pursue the leadership role at IUPUC because he liked the community feel of the campus.

He and the other two finalists visited Columbus in late February, when they met with school and community officials, as well as residents, during public receptions.

“The partnership between the campus and the community when I was there for my visit was really apparent and really attractive,” Hill said in a Thursday telephone interview. “There’s a lot that it can do for Columbus.”

The Illinois dean said one of his first goals as IUPUC vice chancellor will be to continue in that legacy of community involvement by getting to know Columbus’ leaders, as well as leaders and students at IUPUC, to develop a vision for the school’s future.

The Columbus campus, which opened in 1970, had a fall enrollment of 1,703 students in a variety of employment-related fields, served by a full-time faculty of 66 and 100 or more part-time faculty members.

Altogether, 289 courses are offered on campus, with a growing number — currently 75 — taught online.

IUPUC provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in academic areas such as business, education, engineering, general studies, liberal arts, nursing and psychology.

Enrollment has been essentially flat in recent years, but an emphasis on retention and degree completion has led more students to attend full time and/or take higher course loads; credit-hour totals are up 11 percent from three years ago. The number of graduates has increased from 200 in 2011 to 295 last year.

Hill said he specifically wants to focus on student-driven success initiatives and retention, he said.

Governors State was formerly an upper-division institution that only admitted students after their first two years of undergraduate study. But under Hill’s leadership, the university was transformed into a four-year, comprehensive institution, he said.

That leadership, coupled with his experience in both the arts and in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — fields equip him to be an effective leader of the Columbus campus, he said.

Hill will step into his new position July 1, pending approval by the Indiana University Board of Trustees.

Reinhold Hill

Reinhold Hill, the selection to become vice chancellor and dean of IUPUC, holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Brigham Young University, a master’s in English from the University of Louisiana and a doctorate in English from the University of Missouri. He has also completed the management development program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

He served as associate dean for the college of arts and sciences at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, from 2006 to 2010. He then became interim dean of the school from 2010 to 2011. Since 2011, Hill has been an English professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.