The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has announced the appointment of Steve VandenAvond as the university’s new associate provost for outreach and adult access.
VandenAvond will begin his duties Jan. 11. He comes to UW-Green Bay from Silver Lake College near Manitowoc, where he has been associate dean of arts and sciences since 2007 and an associate professor of psychology since 2000. Previous to that he was a faculty member and director of the psychology program at Michigan Technological University.
At UW-Green Bay he will have administrative responsibility for the division of Outreach and Adult Access. Staff members under his direction coordinate services for students in the Adult Degree Program, which currently enrolls about 600 students seeking their bachelor’s degrees primarily through distance learning. The division also includes the Small Business Development Center, as well as enrichment and continuing-education programs for diverse audiences ranging from pre-teen summer campers through working educators and Learning in Retirement participants.
VandenAvond succeeds Jan Thornton, who retires Dec. 30 after a 37-year career. He praised Thornton’s achievements as well as those of staff and faculty he described as “professional, creative, and energetic, with an entrepreneurial spirit.”
“The University of Wisconsin System has such a strong reputation not only in the state, but throughout the nation, and UW-Green Bay has truly been a leader in outreach and adult education,” VandenAvond said. “By involving the faculty… and by offering educational opportunities to students of all ages in formats that are convenient for them while maintaining rigorous academic standards… UWGB has been able to build important relationships with the community and reinforce the idea that the university plays an integral role in Northeastern Wisconsin’s future.”
VandenAvond earned his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Loyola University (Chicago), a master’s in developmental psychology from Illinois State University, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Marquette University. His scholarly interests include computer-application tutoring of adult learners; intergenerational learning groups for traditional and adult learners; and the use of program evaluation as a teaching tool.
He said he expects adult education for non-traditional populations to remain at the forefront of the alternative-delivery movement.
“Web-based, accelerated, night, and weekend delivery have been common in adult education for years,” said VandenAvond, noting an upswing in usage among traditional undergraduate and high school populations, as well. “The educational needs of the culture are changing at a rapid pace and the systems available to deliver education are changing accordingly… As demographics continue to change, I expect marked changes in the mix of traditional and non-traditional students on UW campuses.”
A Green Bay native, VandenAvond is active in the community and holds elected office as Allouez Village president, serving a three-year term through 2010. He also serves as the village representative on the board of directors of Advance, the economic development arm of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.