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Georgian Court University Announces New Arts and Sciences Dean

Professor smiling

Longtime Georgian Court University Professor of English and Assistant Provost Mary Chinery, Ph.D., ’86 is GCU’s new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Her appointment, which comes after a national search to replace retiring Dean Rita Kipp, Ph.D., is effective July 1.

“Dr. Chinery brings to the job a wealth of experience from her work with faculty and students and her leadership in the classrooms and as a former department chair to her numerous collaborations with the campus community on university-wide projects,” says GCU Provost William J. Behre, Ph.D.

“The School of Arts and Sciences, as well as the entire university, will benefit from her deep knowledge in such areas as in online learning, higher education partnerships, academic programming, accreditation planning, and curriculum development,” he says.

Dr. Chinery completed her undergraduate work in English and religious studies at Georgian Court in 1986. She holds an M.A. in English from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in English from Drew University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

She joined Georgian Court as an instructor in 1989 and has served in many roles. She formerly chaired the Department of English and Communications, led the humanities program (now interdisciplinary studies), and was an associate dean for the School of Arts and Sciences before being named assistant provost in 2010. In addition, she served as co-chair of the campus task force that recommended and implemented GCU’s 2012 shift to full coeducation, following more than 100 years of being primarily known as a women’s college.

“It is an exciting time in the history of the university, and I look forward to working with the faculty and students as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences,” says Dr. Chinery. “Georgian Court really excels in the transformative power of education, from which I benefited myself. The values of the Sisters of Mercy, combined with tremendous faculty expertise, prepares students to make a real difference in the world.”

A Dedicated Administrator and Scholar

Dr. Chinery, often involved in strategic planning and directives, has been an integral part of GCU’s exhaustive periodic review reporting and critical preparations for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the chief accrediting body for the university. In 2012, she led the faculty’s full-scale push to adopt iPads in their teaching, and is GCU’s lead coordinator with the Learning House, the university’s partner for creating and delivering online degree programs to students throughout the United States.

Most recently, she has worked closely with new faculty and with those approaching third-year review as part of the tenure process. Dr. Chinery is also the chair of the university’s year-long policy review project, which requires a re-examination of all institutional policies.

Her research area is in American literature, and she has published works on Willa Cather, including Carnival in the Novels of Willa Cather: When the World Becomes Grotesque (2011).

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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