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UA names acting director of branch campuses

ORRVILLE  Dr. Heather Howley has been named acting director of branch campuses at The University of Akron. She had been serving as interim associate director of regional campuses, according to a news release.

The appointment is subject to the approval of UA’s Board of Trustees.

Howley, an associate professor and coordinator of communication in the Department of Speech and Theatre Arts on the UA Wayne College campus, was chosen through an expedited process for hiring.

“With the recent departure of Dr. Jarrod Tudor to Ohio University, it was important to quickly identify an interim leader for the remainder of this academic year,” Dr. John Wiencek, executive vice president and provost, said in the news release. “The University is fortunate that in Dr. Howley we have an individual who already understands the administrative needs of the position. In addition, she has many years of experience working on branch campuses and recognizes the importance of the University’s role in the communities we serve.”

As acting director of branch campuses, Howley will provide executive oversight, guidance and leadership of the day-to-day operations and all functions of the Wayne, Medina and Lakewood campuses; provide oversight and leadership for Workforce Training Solutions, Adult Focus and Early College/College Credit Plus; and serve in other leadership activities and roles as assigned by the provost.

Prior to joining the UA Wayne College faculty in Fall 2009, Howley was an assistant professor at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y., and an instructor at colleges in Illinois. Her primary interests are in speech communication pedagogy, rhetorical analysis and critical theory.

Howley’s research interests focus on the examination of power and authorship within the contexts of health communication, education, class and identity.

She earned a Ph.D. in Speech Communication in 2004 and a M.S. in Communication, Speech Communication in 1998, both at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In 1997, she earned a B.A. in Speech Communication with honors at Youngstown State University.

Howley says in the news release that she she welcomes the opportunities she will have in this new position

The University of Akron Wayne College is an educational and cultural hub for Wayne County and the surrounding region.  For more information, visit

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