Monday was the first day at the office for a new dean of graduate and professional studies at McDaniel College.
The Westminster college announced in a news release that J. Michael Tyler, a licensed psychologist with more than 15 years of higher education experience, was named dean of graduate and professional studies.
"I've been preparing and working with some folks on campus for quite some time now," Tyler said. "It's a really exciting time for the graduate and professional studies program. Graduate education is increasingly the key to success for a number of professional skills — McDaniel College acknowledges this and its ability to help people become lifelong learners."
Tyler will be responsible for providing leadership and support of the college's more than 25 master's degree and professional programs, as well as six post-baccalaureate professional certificates and six five-year programs, according to the news release.
Tyler takes the reins from Roger Bennett, who was named interim dean of graduate and professional studies in August 2014 with the intention of remaining in that position throughout the 2014-15 academic year, according to Cheryl Knauer, a spokeswoman for McDaniel College.
Bennett served in the position while a national search was conducted for a permanent dean, Knauer said.
Bennett was named interim dean to replace Thomas Zirpoli, who served in the position for 13 months, initially in interim capacity, according to an email sent by former provost and dean of the faculty Jeanine Stewart to members of the McDaniel College community. (Zirpoli is a regular Times columnist.)
"Mike is an experienced academic administrator with extensive experience in graduate education. We are excited to have him joining us at McDaniel," Roger Casey, president of McDaniel College, said in the release.
Tyler has held senior-level positions at Gulf Coast University, Wayne State University and University of South Florida. In his most recent position at Baker College in Michigan, he served as associate vice president for institutional effectiveness. Before that, he assisted in building Baker's graduate school and programs as dean of research at the Center for Graduate Studies, according to the release.
He has held full-time teaching positions at the University of South Florida and Wayne State University. In addition, Tyler was an associate professor, head of the counseling program and division leader for the division of professional studies in the college of education at Florida Gulf Coast University.
He has held clinical positions at Ball State University, Southwest Florida Addiction Services, Hendry-Glades Community Mental Health and Charter Hospital of Lafayette, according to the release.
He earned a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in philosophy from Earlham College, a master's degree in counseling and personnel services from Purdue University, and a Ph.D in counseling psychology from Indiana University.