ASHLAND – After conducting a national search, Ashland University has appointed Shawn Orr as the new dean of eAshland, effective immediately.

The eAshland academic unit offers non-credit-bearing programming, professional learning services, workforce development, English language learning and the dual-enrollment College Credit Plus program.

She will also provide oversight of the Center of Innovation and Teaching Excellence and LearnAU, while remaining an assistant professor of communication studies.

Orr had been serving as the interim dean of eAshland since June 2021. During that time, she started the workforce development group, expanded CCP reach and engagement and focused the work of LearnAU in support of faculty for online course development and revision.

“We are thrilled to have a nationally-recognized leader, Ms. Shawn Orr, lead our eAshland efforts,” stated Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University. “The pace of change in higher education continues to accelerate, and having an innovative professional like Shawn Orr heading up this division will serve our students quite well as they prepare for the marketplace.”

Orr has more than 25 years of higher education experience as both a faculty member and administrator. She is a leader in faculty development and online/hybrid learning, and has developed and taught 20-plus business and communication courses across multiple modalities at several different institutions during her career.

An active scholar and practitioner in her field, Orr has delivered more than 250 workshops and presentations on student success, online and hybrid learning, active teaching and learning strategies, experiential learning, course design, 21st century skill development, educational innovation, teaching degree programs for incarcerated students, service learning and building engagement in communication courses at various national conferences, including the National Communication Association.

She has also been published in several academic journals.

Orr joined Ashland University in 2016 and has made significant contributions in faculty services, faculty development programming and university assessment. Most recently, she served as the assistant provost for academic instruction and as a faculty member in the communication studies department.

A two-time graduate of Bowling Green State University, Orr holds a bachelor’s in interpersonal and public communication and a master’s in curriculum development. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian education and leadership.

“Shawn has been such an important part of the academic fabric of Ashland and I am thrilled for her to continue leading eAshland,” added Amiel Jarstfer, provost of Ashland University. “She has been connecting key people to get things accomplished and this truly serves the constituencies of the university, especially our varied students and faculty in the region.”

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