In June 2022, Daemen launched a new academic structure that meets the contemporary needs of the University by transitioning from two divisions with elected deans to three colleges with appointed deans. Through a robust process inclusive of faculty and administrative units, three new colleges were identified and include: College of Arts, Sciences, and Education; College of Health, Human Sciences, and Business; and College of Health Professions. The colleges reflect interdisciplinary synergies and distributed online, graduate, and accredited programs. The new structure best positions Daemen to stabilize, strengthen, and grow its academic enterprise in the decades ahead.

In support of these changes, Daemen appointed Dr. Heather Stassen as the founding dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education after a national search. Ms. Elizabeth Wright has been appointed as the interim dean for the College of Health, Human Sciences, and Business and the College of Health Professions.

University Gonfalons

Heather Stassen standing outside, the front of Rosary Hall behind her
Founding Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education Heather Stassen, PhD

Dr. Heather Stassen holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ohio Northern University, a Master of Science in communications from Ithaca College, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in rhetoric and public culture from Ohio University. Prior to her post at Daemen University, she was a distinguished professor and program director for communication studies and English at Cazenovia College in Central New York. She is active in the New York State Communication Association as a past president of the organization and the Eastern Communication Association having been an interest group planner for the Rhetoric and Public Address and the Health Communication Interest Groups. Her research interests are at the intersection of critical theory, controversy, and public opinion. Dr. Stassen’s work has been published in journals and texts including Explorations in Media Ecology, Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Personal Relationships.

As dean, Stassen will be charged with establishing strategic priorities for the college and advancing the liberal arts mission of the university. The new college will also serve all undergraduate students through the new general education curriculum.

Elizabeth Wright leaning against the side of Rosary Hall
Interim Dean of the College of Health, Human Sciences, and Business and the College of Health Professions Elizabeth Wright, JD

Elizabeth R. Wright, JD, MSW, earned her Juris Doctorate and Master of Social Work from the University of Buffalo and her undergraduate degree in literature and rhetoric and political science at SUNY Binghamton. Dean Wright was elected as the divisional dean of Health & Human Service in 2017 and is a tenured associate professor of the education department, having joined Daemen in 2006. Recently, she has led numerous university initiatives including the Center for Interprofessional Learning & Simulation, the Health Care Strategic Alliance, and an Israel study abroad program.