Winthrop University’s Karen Kedrowski, who has helped bring state and national political figures to Rock Hill, has been promoted to lead the school’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Through various Winthrop programs, Kedrowski helped bring to campus South Carolina gubernatorial contenders in 2010, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in 2011 and U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney and his Democratic challenger Joyce Knott as they faced off in 2012 for the state’s 5th Congressional District seat.
As dean, starting July 1, Kedrowski will take over Winthrop’s largest academic college with 14 departments and more than 200 full- and part-time faculty.
“The College of Arts and Sciences is a wonderful college, filled with a lot of talented students...and faculty who are dedicated to student learning,” she said.
Kedrowski will oversee a $14.5 million budget.
She has been a member of Winthrop’s faculty since 1994 and chairwoman of the Political Science Department since 2001.
The award-winning professor teaches courses in American politics, public policy and women’s studies.
At least for the first year as dean, she said, she’ll take a break from teaching to have time to learn her new duties.
As she’s learning, Kedrowski said, Winthrop’s incoming president, Jayne Marie Comstock, will be learning, too.
Like the other three Winthrop deans, she said, she’ll be “teaching (Comstock) about Winthrop and in turn, we will be learning about her vision.”
As director of the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy and the university’s “global learning” initiative, Kedrowski conducts research primarily in the fields of congressional communication and public policy. Her interest in health policy stems from her two years as a health policy analyst for Families USA in Washington, D.C.
Kedrowski replaces Peter Judge, an associate professor of religion and philosophy and chairman of the Religious Studies Department, who has served as interim dean since summer 2011.
Debra Boyd, Winthrop’s vice president for academic affairs, said the College of Arts and Sciences and Winthrop will benefit from Kedrowski’s interaction with a number of academic initiatives and her planning skills.
“Dr. Kedrowski has been successful in a variety of leadership roles, and her skills and talents are well-suited for such a large and complex organization as the College of Arts and Sciences,” Boyd said. “Her focus on and her experience with student success, institutional collaboration, and community engagement are vitally important for the success of the college and the university.
“Diversity and quality are the hallmarks of the College of Arts and Sciences, and I am humbled and honored to be chosen as the dean,” Kedrowski said. “I appreciate President DiGiorgio’s and Vice President Boyd’s confidence in my abilities, and I look forward to serving the university in this new role.”
Kedrowski has received a number of honors and awards, including Winthrop’s Outstanding Junior Professor in 1999, the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Advisor in 2007 and Distinguished Professor Award in 2011.
Anna Douglas • 803-329-4068