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ASU adds new dean of the College of Education


Dr. Thillainatarajan (Thilla) Sivakumaran, the Associate Dean for the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, is joining Arkansas State University as the new dean of the College of Education. Dr. Sivakumaran will begin his duties July 1, 2012.  He replaces Dr. Greg Meeks who has been serving on an interim basis with distinction since March 2011 when former dean Dr. Don Maness decided to step down and return to the classroom.

”ASU is exceedingly fortunate that following a highly competitive national search, Dr. Thilla Sivakumaran emerged as the standout candidate and has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Education at ASU,” said Dr. Dan Howard, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. “In addition to impeccable academic credentials, Dr. Sivakumaran has distinguished himself in the areas of globalization, distance learning, accreditation, assessment and community service. 

“I am convinced that he will become an outstanding dean at ASU and I encourage all members of the academic community, alumni and the surrounding community to extend a warm welcome and to offer all support to him for the advantage of the university and the students that we serve.”

Dr. Sivakumaran has served in several academic and administrative capacities at Louisiana-Monroe since 2004 including associate dean for Undergraduate Studies and Assessment and Accreditation (2011-present). His responsibilities included coordinating all undergraduate programs; certification and candidacy of all teachers within the College of Education, including admissions, curricula and program evaluation; clinical and field experiences; recruitment, retention and risk management; and coordinator of online degree program. He also handled the organization of ULM’s study abroad programs and coordinated the digital media studio.

“It is a great honor to be offered the Dean of Education position at Arkansas State University,” said Dr. Sivakumaran. “I believe that the position is a good fit because my goals align with those overarching goals of the university and we share a similar vision.  

“Within the College of Education, there are many opportunities to integrate technology, diversity, and community outreach to make education more effective and sustainable. By leveraging these resources, I think both the university and the college students will have the benefit of a truly outstanding education.”  

As an assistant professor in “Curriculum and Instruction,” Dr. Sivakumaran taught several courses, including “Applied Media/Instructional Technology,” “Secondary Classroom Behavior Management,” “Professional Growth and Development,” and “Instructional Technology,” and designed courses including “Education in the Information Age,” “Evaluating Student Progress” and “Instructional Technology.”

Dr. Sivakumaran attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology in 2005. His concentration was Instructional Technology, specialization was Evaluation and Curriculum, cognate as Theoretical Chemistry, and he completed his dissertation entitled, “Effectiveness of a Showcase and Assessment Digital Portfolio in Teacher Education.”

He completed his master of science degree in 2001 with a major in Secondary Science Education and earned his bachelor of science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1997 from the University of Washington in Seattle.

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