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New UW-Madison School of Human Ecology dean named

July 10, 2012 By Käri Knutson

Soyeon Shim, a professor and director at the University of Arizona in Tucson, has been selected as the new dean of the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) at UW–Madison.

Soyeon Shim

Soyeon Shim has been named dean of the School of Human Ecology at UW–Madison.

“We’re very pleased to have someone with Soyeon’s experience and capability join us as dean of the School of Human Ecology,” says Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. “She is an accomplished academic and leader who will help guide the school as we open the new SoHE building to students this fall.”

Shim has been a University of Arizona faculty member since 1990 and has academic expertise in consumer decision-making, behavioral and consumer psychology, consumer financial behavior, and global retailing and management.

“I believe it is an exciting time for those who are innovative, strategic and willing to meet the coming changes in the global society,” Shim says. ”I am honored and very excited to become the dean of the SoHE because the faculty and staff in the SoHE are ready to meet these changes.”  

Shim has been director of the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences and associate dean of strategic initiatives for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona. She holds a doctorate in human ecology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in human ecology from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

“I believe that UW–Madison can effectively serve students across the state via online learning to contribute significantly to the development of Wisconsin’s workforce and local economy. I can help the SoHE lead in this endeavor on campus,” Shim says. “I can also help expand the SoHE faculty further expand its interdisciplinary scope to improve family and individual health, consumer and sustainability issues, and the well-being of people in Wisconsin and beyond.”

Shim succeeds Dean Robin Douthitt, who announced her plans to step down last year.

“I am delighted to learn that Professor Shim will succeed me as dean of Human Ecology,” Douthitt says. “She is nationally and internationally recognized as a visionary and effective academic leader. Dr. Shim also brings extensive development experience raising program funds and leading a successful major capital campaign for new facilities. While enjoying a high profile externally, Dr. Shim has made a priority of maintaining strong internal relationships with her faculty and students.”

A 14-member search-and-screen committee composed of faculty, staff, students, a dean and member of the school’s board of visitors recommended a short list of three finalists to Interim Chancellor David Ward and the provost from which they made their selection.

Shim will assume her new role on Aug. 27, and will receive a salary of $235,000.