Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Reception held to honor Dean Mary Otto
By Laura Angus, media relations assistant
|Provost Virinder Moudgil congratulates Dean Otto for her successes. He said during his remarks that she is the "deans' dean."|
The School of Education and Human Services honored Dean Mary Otto on Monday night in Meadow Brook Hall. She is leaving the school to lead OU in its expansion to Macomb County and other areas as the Vice President for Outreach.
Otto has worked at OU for more than 30 years, and she has been dean of SEHS for more than 13 years. As Virinder Moudgil, vice president for academic affairs and provost put it, she’s “the deans’ dean.”
“She mentors new deans and she’s been a successful dean herself,” he said. “Hers is a name synonymous with success.”
The evening was filled with praise and thanks from Otto’s colleagues, including Lisa Reeves, executive director of professional development, Dyanne Tracy, teacher development and education studies department chair and professor, and Ron Cramer, distinguished professor of education.
“Mary had no problem taking on new things within the school,” Reeves said. “She’s a great example of one person making a difference.”
Otto is an example of one person making a difference, she added.
“I would describe Mary as the ultimate supportive leader; she sees from the perspective of everyone in the university,” Tracy said. “She knows exactly when to listen. She’s knows the right time for discussion and she knows when to act.”
Tracy said that Otto transformed the SEHS into an outstanding school of education.
“Mary has a talent for identifying human potential,” Tracy said. “She also knows how to encourage people to work to their fullest potential.”
As part of the reception, Otto was presented with a crystal rooster, Otto’s Chinese Zodiac sign, and a significant contribution to the school was made in her honor.
“You all have made me sound way better, more confident and more competent than I could ever think of myself,” Otto said at the end of the evening. “I am very certain that it takes a village to create a successful dean and you are all part of my village. All I really had to do was listen and facilitate. I am so grateful to you.”
Otto will start in her new position June 1.
“I feel honored to be colleagues with all of you,” she said. “You are all wonderful, creative, genius people who brought so much to this university and this school. You’ve allowed me to make a difference.”