NORMAN – University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren today announced outstanding professor and effective faculty leader, Randall Hewes, who has been serving as interim dean of the Graduate College since July 2016, has been appointed to the position permanently. The appointment was announced at the September meeting of the OU Board of Regents in Tulsa.
“Randall Hewes is an outstanding leader,” said Boren. “The university is very fortunate that he is willing to serve as dean of the Graduate College.”
Prior to being named interim dean, Hewes was senior associate dean in the Graduate College. Throughout his OU research, he has focused on the genetic and molecular pathways controlling neuronal remodeling during insect metamorphosis. He has investigated when and how mature neurons respond to insulin, steroids and other cues to reactivate and execute growth processes that are usually seen only in the embryo. He was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral fellow from 1995 to 1997. His research has been supported by more than $3.9 million in grants for graduate education and neuroscience research from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
A member of the OU faculty for the past 16 years, Hewes has taught undergraduate courses in cell biology and cell/molecular neurobiology. Serving as chair of the Department of Biology from 2011 to 2015, he led a major revision of the department’s largest introductory biology lab course and launched the “Cornerstone Course” initiative with the goal of engaging all biology majors in research as a formal part of the curriculum. He has served as the major advisor for five doctoral students, and he has mentored more than 54 undergraduate students in research in his laboratory. Many of his former students have established successful careers in science and medicine. He has been recognized as the Kinney-Sugg Outstanding Professor in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.
Hewes served as chair of the Faculty Senate from 2014 to 2015, and he has served on the Admissions and Employee Benefits Committees, the Provost’s Graduate Education Task Force and the President's Graduation and Retention Task Force. In each of these roles, he has worked to advance academic initiatives and to improve professional support, career opportunities and community for students, faculty and staff.
The Graduate College dean currently manages 26 professional staff in the Graduate College and Graduate Admissions and also oversees the Graduate Council, the representative policy-making body for the graduate faculty. In its daily operations, the Graduate College oversees graduate admissions, enrollment management and support service for more than 5,700 students in 88 master’s programs, 54 doctoral degree programs and 26 graduate certificates. The college confers annually more than 2,000 degrees, which comprises 34 percent of all OU graduates. The college also administers a $14.2 million graduate tuition waiver budget and awards over $550,000 annually in graduate student scholarships, fellowships and travel support.
Hewes graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College with a bachelor's degree in biology and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned his Ph.D. He then served eight years as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.