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Villanova University Appoints Deborah J. Tyksinski, PhD, Founding Dean of College of Professional Studies (CPS)

CPS, the first new College at the University in 50 years, was created in May 2014 to better serve adult learners

CPS Dean

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, today announced the appointment of Deborah J. Tyksinski, PhD, as the founding dean of Villanova University’s new College of Professional Studies (CPS), effective June 1, 2015. This key appointment for the University, the result of a national search led by a committee of faculty, staff and administrators, will ensure that CPS is well positioned to meaningfully serve adult learners in the evolving higher education landscape.

CPS, the first new College at the University in 50 years, was created in May 2014 to better serve adult learners. CPS offers academically rigorous undergraduate degree and non-degree programs – both on campus and online – and will continue to innovate with new curricula and potentially new graduate degree programs.

“The appointment of a founding Dean of CPS builds upon our historic commitment to the adult learner and is integral to the College’s ongoing mission,” said Fr. Donohue. “Dr. Tyksinski brings a depth of knowledge, commitment to values-driven learning and an entrepreneurial spirit that will serve the College of Professional Studies well. Her experience and passion for serving busy adults through innovative teaching will be a valuable resource as we work to bring CPS to new levels of excellence.”

Tyksinski possesses wide-ranging experience, including more than 20 years of robust academic and administrative experience supporting the strategic goals of a university, with a particular focus on the adult learner. She comes to Villanova from SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), where she most recently holds the position of Associate Provost. In that capacity, Tyksinski leads college-wide initiatives that support online degree programs, institutional assessment, faculty and student engagement, research and scholarship, and the attraction of new resources to fulfill strategic goals. 

Among Tyksinski’s many accomplishments is conceiving and building SUNY Poly’s continuing professional education program, which supports part-time and non-matriculated students, non-credit professional education, credit-bearing summer and special sessions, customized certificate programs, professional administration for strategic community education partners, member-supported community programs and research collaborations.  

Tyksinski previously held leadership positions at Syracuse University, including serving as Administrative Director of the Northeast Parallel Architectures Center, a high performance computing research center, which she helped establish. She began her career in the business world, where she focused on employee relations and training programs. A life-long learner herself, Tyksinski earned a Master’s and PhD in Education: Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation from Syracuse University; a Master’s in Management from Binghamton University; and a Bachelor’s in Human Services from SUNY College of Technology. Most recently, she received a fellowship from the American Council on Education in 2013-14.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit