Graduate students accounted for nearly 40 percent of all University of Toledo graduates during the spring 2016 commencement exercises, and UT officials have identified the leader who will continue to elevate the institution’s graduate programs.
Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich will serve as dean of the College of Graduate Studies beginning July 1, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees, following the retirement of Dr. Patsy Komuniecki.
“Graduate education is a key area that The University of Toledo distinguishes itself from our peers,” said John Barrett, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “The breadth of our programs, our facilities and equipment, and our commitment to engaging students in research all create experiences that set UT apart for those seeking an advanced degree.”Barrett’s sentiment was echoed by Bryant-Friedrich, who plans to focus on increasing UT’s graduate student enrollment and its undergraduate to graduate student retention. She said she would look to increase the number of pipeline programs, which enable students to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees at UT more rapidly. Growing philanthropic support for the college also will be a priority.
“Throughout my career, it has been working with graduate students that gives me the most joy,” Bryant-Friedrich said. “I love watching them progress in their studies, become professionals, and continue to carry the UT flag during the course of their careers.”
Calling UT’s graduate programs jewels, she said she plans to work with faculty, alumni, and Marketing and Communications to better spread the word about the University. She also spoke about the need to ensure programs are reinventing themselves to meet the needs of the changing world.
“I know from experience that personal interaction has a big impact when it comes to graduate student recruitment,” she said.
UT President Sharon L. Gaber praised Bryant-Friedrich’s work on behalf of graduate education as part of the Strategic Enrollment Planning process.
“Dr. Bryant-Friedrich has the energy and enthusiasm to build the strength of our graduate programs and ensure students know of the endless possibilities available to them with a UT education,” Gaber said.
Bryant-Friedrich, an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, added that incoming Provost Andrew Hsu has encouraged her to attain full professorship in the coming years, which aligns well with her goals and plans.
“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Bryant-Friedrich to strengthen and promote the outstanding graduate programs at The University of Toledo,” Hsu said.