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New dean named for College of SSIS


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New SSIS Dean Orn Bodvarsson

Orn Bodvarsson, currently dean and professor at the School of Public Affairs, St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., has been appointed dean of Sacramento State’s College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies (SSIS), effective Aug. 1.

Today’s announcement follows a nationwide search that attracted a competitive pool of applicants.

“Dr. Bodvarsson brings to Sacramento State an extensive background of outstanding academic achievement, as well as a strong skill set in academic administration and leadership experience,” says Frederika “Fraka” Harmsen, Sacramento State’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “He has previously led many efforts in community engagement, fundraising, applied research and international partnerships, among others.

“I am confident he will continue to bolster the departments, institutions and programs within the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.”

Bodvarsson has more than 28 years of experience in higher education. While at St. Cloud State, he established a prolific scholarly record and won a variety of project grants and teaching awards. 

He earned both his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s degree in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University. He earned his doctorate in economics from Simon Fraser University.

Ted Lascher, who has been serving as interim dean of SSIS, will return to his faculty position in the Department of Public Policy and Administration this fall.

 Also today, the provost announced the appointment of Chiang Wang to serve as administrator-in-charge of the College of Business Administration for the Fall 2014 semester, as the search for a new dean gets under way.

 Wang, who will supervise operations and personnel, served as a faculty member of the Operations Management Department, director of graduate programs and interim associate dean of graduate and external programs in the College of Business Administration before retiring in 2008. 

The University announced last month that Sanjay Varshney will step down as dean but continue to represent Sac State with the region’s business and economic organizations, as well as continue to produce the Sacramento Business Review economic forecast. Varshney also will return to the Business Administration faculty this fall.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Dixie Reid