Clarksville, TN – Dr. Loretta Griffy, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) associate vice president for academic strategic initiatives and foundation engagement, has been named the inaugural dean of APSU’s University College – which will launch on August 1st, 2023.
The University College is designed to house areas within Austin Peay that are outside of an academic college and assist students with transitioning into higher education. A list of programs and offices that will be included is available here.
“I’m extremely honored to be selected as the first dean of the University College,” Griffy said. “The members of my leadership team are incredibly talented – both in experience and education – and I’m thrilled to bring this group together. We have an opportunity to get thought leaders in a room together on a regular basis to build and create opportunities for our students, and that’s exciting.”
Griffy has 32 years of experience working at Austin Peay State University in administrative roles and as a longtime mathematics professor. She has previously served as the director of the APSU Center for Teaching and Learning, associate provost for student success and associate vice president for student success strategic initiatives.
“I know that Dr. Griffy, as inaugural dean, will establish a firm foundation and set the new college on a path to success,” said Dr. Maria Cronley, Austin Peay State University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The University College will provide an academic home for several crucial academic programs, as well as align many of our student success efforts more efficiently.”
In her current role, Griffy already supervises several of the University College’s future programs and offices. She plans to use that experience and her institutional knowledge of Austin Peay to navigate the transition into a new organizational structure.
“One of our first goals will be to establish the college in the infrastructure of Austin Peay State University,” she said. “Then I want to take a look at our degree completion program and our adult learner outreach to see if there’s an opportunity for us to connect to the community and bring back students who have some college education but no degree and help them earn credentials.”
Griffy also plans to bring a more centralized approach to Austin Peay State University’s corequisite developmental studies structure, which she said will benefit incoming students who need academic support.
“My goal is to get our University College up and running, then start looking for ways to grow and improve our academic offerings – as well as the success of our students,” Griffy said. “For the next few years, I’ll be deeply engaged in that kind of work, and it will all be guided by the University’s mission and strategic plan.”
Griffy said the university college concept ties directly into the first two pillars of APSU’s strategic plan – the academic and student experiences – and has a proven impact at other universities.
“The establishment of the University College is an important effort as we ensure the Austin Peay experience remains second to none,” said Dr. Mike Licari, Austin Peay president. “Dr. Griffy’s experience and passion for student success means that our students will have everything they need as they work toward graduation.”
Griffy earned her doctorate in education administration and higher education from Tennessee State University, her Master of Science in mathematics and statistics from the University of Memphis and her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Austin Peay.
She also serves as a Complete College America (CCA) Fellow and has worked on several grant projects for the University – and she aims to continue promoting Austin Peay in her new position.
“We’re very excited about the University College, and we think it’s a great opportunity for the institution,” Griffy said. “It’s pretty timely for the University College to come on board now as we’re taking steps toward the pillars of our strategic plan, and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the work Austin Peay does while supporting students in our community.”