Transitions People in Academe

October 22, 2012


Richard L. (Rich) Dunsworth, vice president for enrollment at Millikin University, will become president of the University of the Ozarks next July. He will succeed Rick D. Niece, who is retiring in June after 16 years at the helm.

Debra Dobkins, an associate professor of English and director of the Writing Center at Brenau University, in Georgia, has been named dean of the institution's Women's College.

Brig. Gen. William F. Mullen III, a former Marine aide to the U.S. president who has commanded a Marines battalion in Iraq, is the new president of Marine Corps University, in Virginia.


Gene I. Awakuni, chancellor of the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, says he plans to retire at the end of the academic year. He has served for seven and a half years and oversaw the construction of a new campus that opened in August but had been plagued with cost overruns. He also directed the establishment of a four-year degree program.

John G. Peters, president of Northern Illinois University, plans to step down next June. By then, he will have led the university for 13 years. During his administration, the university reached the highest Carnegie ranking for universities and was admitted to the Universities Research Association.


Jerome Sachs, the first president of Northeastern Illinois University, died on October 12. He was 98. He led the public institution from 1966 to 1973, aiding its transformation from a teachers' college to a comprehensive university. He advocated for experimental degree programs and established the University Without Walls, which served nontraditional students. Among the many programs added during his tenure was one that prepared teachers to work in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago.

John D. Metzger, director of the nuclear-engineering program at the University of Pittsburgh, died on October 12 while traveling for work in Atlanta. He was 59. A leading researcher on nuclear power and propulsion-system designs, he is credited with winning grants and helping to develop the curriculum for the program, which started in 2007.