Melissa Harwood-Rom Named Dean of Students
Change made to meet needs of growing student populationFriday, November 01, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Melissa Harwood-Rom, the senior associate dean of students, has been named to serve as the University of Arkansas’ 12th dean of students, effective Nov. 1. Harwood-Rom will take over from Danny Pugh who has held the dual positions of vice provost for student affairs and dean of students since 2009.
This change is intended to help both Harwood-Rom and Pugh respond more effectively to the needs of the growing student population. When Pugh began serving as vice provost and dean of students the student population was 19,849. Today the university enrolls more than 25,300 students and anticipates serving 28,000 in the coming years.
Harwood-Rom has been supervising two associate deans’ staffs and nine departments since 2011.
“When I selected Melissa Harwood-Rom to serve as the senior associate dean in 2011, I did so knowing this transition would eventually occur,” said Pugh. “This change is necessary to best support the growth of our expanding population of students and student organizations. Melissa is the consummate professional and one of the hardest workers I have ever been around. Her performance these past two years clearly shows her capacity to lead in a dynamic environment while keeping her eyes on the ultimate prize — student success. Under her leadership, we will also see even greater collaboration with and support of our academic colleagues.”
“Melissa Harwood-Rom has demonstrated a commitment to student success throughout her career at the University of Arkansas,” said Provost Sharon Gaber. “I have no doubt that she will continue to assist our growing student body in her role as dean of students.”
Harwood-Rom said she is excited about this new role and how it plays to her strengths and the professional experience she has had, especially at the University of Arkansas.
“I am honored to inherit this role so influential to student success,” Harwood-Rom said. “Now is an exciting time for the dean of students office as we challenge each staff member of each unit to positively impact a growing student population. By engaging, assisting and developing students, we will do our part in advancing the University of Arkansas to Top 50 status.”
Harwood-Rom is an alumna of the university who returned in 1989 for the newly created position of Academic Counselor for Women’s Athletics. She was responsible for initial and continued eligibility certification and academic advising for all women’s sports, as well as overseeing event management, fundraising and facilities planning, among other duties.
In 2002 she was named associate director of women’s athletics at the U of A. Her primary responsibilities included academic support services, maintaining academic records for approximately 175 female student athletes, and managing NCAA compliance records and student development.
In 2008 she was named associate athletic director for the Razorback Athletics Center for Student Achievement and Support. In this role she was responsible for providing academic support services to more than 400 student athletes each year. She managed a staff of 13 full-time and 125 part-time tutors.
In November 2011 Harwood-Rom was named senior associate dean of students in the Division of Student Affairs.
Harwood-Rom received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas in 1980; a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Oklahoma State University in 1981; and a Master of Economics/Agricultural Economics from Washington State University in 1988.
Scott Flanagin, director of communications
Division of Student Affairs
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations