September 7, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 7, 2016 — Drury University has appointed Dr. Jana Neiss as its next Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS). Neiss succeeds Aaron Jones, the continuing studies dean since 2012, who will transition to a new position: Chief of Staff to Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd.
Neiss will begin her duties in January 2017. She earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ozark Bible College in Joplin.
Neiss has deep roots at Drury, having begun her academic career as an adjunct CCPS faculty member in 1993. She then helped start Drury’s branch campus in Rolla in 1995. In 2008 she became the Director of CCPS’s Mid-Missouri Region. She and her husband, David, have two sons, Charles and Garrett, who both graduated from Drury – one from the traditional day school and the other from CCPS.
For the past six years, Neiss has worked as the Director of the Teacher Education Program at Missouri University of Science & Technology. In that role, she oversaw the university’s teacher certification curriculum, led accreditation efforts, and facilitated key external partnerships with public schools.
“Jana brings a deep knowledge of Drury, an understanding of adult education, established relationships in our CCPS communities, and a proven track record that make her uniquely qualified for this position,” said President Cloyd.
While at S&T, Neiss was recognized for innovative programming and curriculum work, including initiation of a STEM-focused elementary teacher certification, and co-directing more than $1 million in state grants for science education and quantitative literacy. She also was recruited to serve on several state and national boards and committees, including representing Missouri at the National Summit on Teacher Education and the Common Core, and chairing the Missouri Council of Education Deans and Directors. She was tapped by Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on Missouri’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation.
“I am excited to come back to Drury and reconnect with former colleagues and create new relationships with other members of the Drury community,” Neiss said. There’s a great level of enthusiasm about Drury’s recent successes and potential for future growth, and I look forward to being part of it.”
Jones will assume chief of staff duties full time in January, where he will work with President Cloyd, Trustees, faculty and staff to enhance communication, coordination, and transparency across the university. He will be responsible for accelerating the development of long-range institutional strategy and planning for the day school, CCPS, graduate studies and athletics.
“While this is a new position for Drury, it is a crucial role at many universities,” said President Cloyd. “Aaron will be an honest broker in synthesizing, compiling and articulating the opinions of Drury’s various constituencies.”
Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies offers bachelor and associate degree programs primarily in the evening at the main Springfield campus and at nine branch locations across the region. Academic programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students with hectic lifestyles that make traditional degree completion impractical. Additionally, CCPS offers online courses for undergraduate and graduate programs to enhance flexibility and quality of the education experience of Drury students.
For more information, go to www.drury.edu/ccps.
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