Vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School named

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Regina Vasilatos-Younken, interim dean of the Graduate School, has been appointed vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School, following a national search.  

Her appointment is pending approval by the University's Board of Trustees at its May 8 meeting.

“The opportunity to provide leadership for graduate education at a university of Penn State’s caliber is an extraordinary privilege,” said Vasilatos-Younken. “I can think of no more ideal position than in the service of training scholars, a mission that defines the research University. There are many challenges facing higher education today, and Penn State has demonstrated not only resiliency, but continued to advance in excellence in every domain. I believe it is poised to move to an even higher level of achievement and stature. It is a distinct honor to be able to contribute to that effort in this important leadership role.”

Henry C. “Hank” Foley, the former vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, left in 2013 to become executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Missouri System. Vasilatos-Younken became the interim dean after his departure. 

“Our search committee did an extraordinary job in vetting many highly qualified candidates for this appointment," said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. "That Jean emerged from this process as the clear choice speaks volumes about the vision and expertise she will bring to this expanded role: One that is critical to Penn State’s future leadership in graduate education.”

Penn State’s Graduate School is one of the nation’s largest with more than 12,000 graduate students and more than 2,800 graduate faculty members across 163 graduate fields of study.

Vasilatos-Younken is a professor of endocrine physiology and nutrition in the department of Animal Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Her career at Penn State began in 1976 as a graduate research assistant. She earned her doctorate in animal nutrition in 1982 from Penn State and became an assistant professor of poultry science at the University in 1983. She’s been a full professor since 1999. Also from 2000-13 she served as senior associate dean of the Graduate School.

Vasilatos-Younken’s honors include a fellowship in 2004-05 with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation-Academic Leadership Program, a 1999 Inventor Incentive Award from Penn State and a 1993 Poultry Science Association Research Award. She’s written or co-authored more than 100 articles, and has secured 30 grants, contracts and gifts to carry out research for the U.S. and Pennsylvania departments of agriculture among others.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in animal and pre-veterinary science from the University of Maine in 1976.

Last Updated May 07, 2015