Dean of Health Sciences Joseph Woods will step down at the end of the semester to return to a full-time teaching career. Associate Dean andcross country coach Edward O’Connor has been chosen as interim dean. Woods became dean in 1988 and said it is time for a change.
“I’ve been at this for a long time – 18 years. I spent the previous 17 years with teaching as my primary responsibility and I’d really like to return to that before I retire,” Woods said.
O’Connor recently told QUDaily, “I am honored to be asked to lead the School of Health Sciences as interim dean for the 2005-2006 academic year,” and added that he is “looking forward to working with the outstanding and dedicated faculty.”
In addition to serving as associate dean, O’Connor has worked in a different role on campus. He has served as the men’s cross country coach for 11 years and brought his team to their first Northeast Conference Cross Country Championship.
“He’s got the right experience and background,” Phil Roach, freshman, said. “He puts 100 percent effort in everything he does: his family, his students, his job. He’s dedicated.”
Teammate Alex Grout, freshman, said he is impressed cwith O’Connor’s devotion, but recognizes that limited availability comes with the added responsibility.
“As far as we know he’ll still be doing both jobs [coaching and acting as Dean],” Grout said. “Because of his job, we know he’s busy so he can’t really be around as much, but we understand.”
Rae Guthrie, Woods’ secretary for over 15 years, is pleased with the selection. Guthrie said, “I think the students look up to [O’Connor] for his knowledge and input.”
Guthrie also said that she is happy that Woods will be free to do the things that he loves.
“His heart is with teaching. He deserves to step down to relax and enjoy his family.”
Woods will officially step down on July 1, and a permanent dean selection is scheduled to be made after O’Connor’s year as interim dean is completed.