The founding dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Thomas E. Kail, Ph.D., has decided to step down from his post effective June 30. Kail, an administrator with Mercer for the past 13 years, holds a professorship within the College, and will return to that role following his resignation.
Kail presided over the founding of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, transitioning from his position as associate provost and dean of the Division of Extended Education. Under his leadership, the College added new faculty, established a Department of Mathematics and Science, developed graduate programs in School Counseling and Public Safety Leadership, and initiated an orientation and a basic skills assessment program for new adult learners as well as a College-wide effort to assess the learning outcomes of students who are seniors. Kail also played an important leadership role in the location, and design of Mercer’s Henry County Regional Academic Center.
“I am proud of the college’s efforts to offer working adults, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, the opportunity to complete their educational goals,” Kail said. “I am also very proud of what our graduates have accomplished. Many have gone on to graduate schools throughout the state of Georgia and beyond, become leaders in their professions, or begun new careers. Working with the faculty of the College to offer educational opportunities to adults so that they can lead purposeful lives and contribute to the quality of life of their communities is the most gratifying part of being dean of the College.”
“Tom Kail has faithfully served Mercer for more than a decade, and we are grateful for the many contributions he has made to the university, particularly in the area of adult education,” said President William D. Underwood. “We look forward to his continued contributions in the classroom, where students will benefit from his knowledge and experience.”
The College is one of the University’s largest and one of its most demographically and geographically diverse, offering seven degree programs to more than 750 students in five locations. “Through its academic programs, the College makes many important contributions to the quality of life in the communities that it serves,” University Provost Horace W. Fleming said. “I believe that under Dean Kail’s leadership it has established a strong record of serving working adults who seek career advancement, leadership roles in their organizations and communities and personal fulfillment. The College is an important part of Mercer’s mission, and through his leadership Dean Kail has contributed to advancing the University’s commitment to offering high quality educational opportunities to working adults. Dean Kail has served Mercer University and the College with distinction, and we wish him well as he now turns again to his scholarship and teaching.”
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