Claremont graduate schools welcome two high-level administrators

Two building signs -- one for Claremont Graduate University and one for Keck Graduate Institute
Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute are both getting new high level administrators. (Photo courtesies: Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute)

Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute are getting two new administrators to fill top leadership roles.

Diane Chase will become CGU’s vice president for academic innovation, student success and strategic initiatives, officials said. Martin Zdanowicz will take over as the dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at KGI.

Chase will start at CGU on Sept. 1, leaving her post as executive vice president and provost of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, CGU president Len Jessup announced in an email.

She’ll join former boss, Jessup, who used to be president of UNLV, according to previous TSL reports.

He became CGU’s president in 2018 following a turbulent departure from UNLV where he was allegedly told to “find another job or risk being fired” by UNLV chancellor Thom Reilly, LasVegas Now, a Nevada CBS affiliate reported.

Jessup praised Chase in the email.

“Diane will partner with our provost, Patricia Easton, to develop and deliver new programming and bring innovation to existing programs, including collaborating with external partners to provide impactful academic experiences that will serve our students not only today, but in the future,” Jessup said.

In this newly-created position, Chase will be responsible for the “entire student life cycle,” which includes recruiting, admissions, onboarding, student experience, retention, graduation and related student outcomes, Jessup said.

While at UNLV, Chase helped the institution achieve R1 status — “very high research activity,” as designated in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education — seven years ahead of schedule, Jessup said. She also helped establish the MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute, a public-private collaborative think tank.

Chase’s husband, Arlen Chase, will join Pomona College as a visiting professor in the anthropology department.

Over at KGI, Zdanowicz has already begun leading the school, which graduated its inaugural class in 2018, according to a news release. He started Aug. 1.

Until then, the SPHS had been supervised by interim dean Gail Orum-Alexander since January. Orum-Alexander was appointed to the position after founding dean Kathy Webster died in Dec. 2018 from cancer, the Claremont Courier reported.

Before coming to Claremont, Zdanowicz spent seven years in Florida as associate dean for health studies at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, according to the news release.

“Dean Zdanowicz is a respected professional in the field of pharmacy, and his insightful approach to educating the next generation of pharmacists will have profound impact on KGI and the industry,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said in the release. “He will move the school forward by creating new and innovative opportunities for our students.”

Zdanowicz earned his doctorate in pharmacology from St. John’s University and has served as the chair of pharmaceutical sciences and director of graduate studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

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