New Dean for the College

New dean looks forward to building strengths in College

Kathy Ogren is approaching her new position as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences “one day at a time.”

“We make the path by walking it, and I ask everyone to educate me about their expectations and needs relative to my new responsibilities,” she said.

Ogren has been at the University since 1985. Redlands, she said, appeared to be a great place to start a full-time teaching position. She started as a visiting professor in the history department, and has taught about 50 courses since, including jazz studies and cowboy poetry.

“Jazz and blues literature and cowboy poetry are both rooted in American vernacular culture. And both are research areas for me,” Ogren said. “Each opens up a wide range of American experience to explore with students, and when studied together, which I sometimes do, these subjects enable us to explore dynamic exchanges between east and west, rural and urban, African American and Euro American cultures.”

Ogren moved into Johnston in 1989, and served as director there for 8 years.

“Johnston provided me with several opportunities for experimenting with new courses and teaching methods, and I found the living-learning community a stimulating way to work with students.”

For the past six years, Ogren held the Hunsaker Teaching Chair, which facilitates faculty development related to teaching.

Now as dean, Ogren says she would like to build on several strengths in the College, including:

  • A varied and dynamic student body with many different educational passions, goals, and interests.
  • Consistent commitment to excellent, innovative and personalized education.
  • Dedicated faculty members who regularly work above and beyond what is "required." Willingness to look for innovations, to work creatively with lean resources, and to make connections across the campus.
  • Dedicated staff who regularly work above and beyond what is "required." Willingness to foster a compassionate and challenging, learning environment.
  • Diverse approaches to common liberal arts values; valuing specific learning objectives of individual departments and programs, while fostering openness to interdisciplinary and cross-discipline collaborations.
  • Celebrating living-learning communities and co-curricular learning.
  • Opportunities for applied learning through student research, artistic and musical performance, experiential learning, internships, community service and activism, and off campus studies, including study abroad.

Ogren holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies and humanities from Scripps College and a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University. She was a University of Redlands Haynes Fellow, 1987, received a summer research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a University of Redlands Research award in 1990. Other University awards include the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996, Armacost Award for Faculty Service in 2001 and the Virginia C. Hunsaker Teaching Chair 2005-2011.


The Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF) is a natural farm in its beginning stages, but already grows and sells fresh vegetables to Bon Appetit, the food management company on campus.

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