Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia has chosen Laura Dunn Jolly, a University of Tennessee professor and nationally known scholar in the areas of retailing and merchandising, to be dean of the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Jolly’s appointment, announced today by Arnett C. Mace, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, is effective Aug. 15. She succeeds Sharon Nickols, who left the deanship in June of 2006 to return to the college faculty. Jan Hathcote, who was associate dean for academic affairs, has served the past year as interim dean.
Jolly has been a professor in the department of retail, hospitality and tourism management in the University of Tennessee College of Education, Health and Human Sciences since 2001. Previously she was at the University of Kentucky where she was chair of the department of interior design, merchandising and textiles.
She was also a faculty member in the department of design, housing and merchandising at Oklahoma State University, where she earned her Ph.D. and master’s degrees and served as director of the Center for Apparel Marketing and Merchandising.
Jolly is an authority on retailing, particularly retailing in rural areas and its effect on economic growth in rural communities. She has conducted extensive research on consumer attitudes and purchasing strategies related to electronic commerce, and on theoretical models of merchandising. She has also written and spoken widely on technology developments in textiles and apparel, and on trends in family and consumer sciences education.
UGA President Michael F. Adams said Jolly is “an experienced and distinguished administrator whom I am confident can take the College of Family and Consumer Sciences to the next level of quality. She was the overwhelming recommendation of the search committee and I was glad to receive the provost’s recommendation to appoint her.”
Mace said, “Dr. Jolly’s experience as a faculty member and administrator at three land grant institutions is superb. She possesses excellent vision and has a clear understanding of the need for increasing extramural research and private support, and providing high quality instruction for the college’s increasing number of undergraduate and graduate students. I look forward to working with her to advance programs in the college.”
Jolly’s research has been supported by more than $415,000 in grants from public and private organizations and has resulted in scores of articles and reports in scholarly publications and presentations at professional meetings in the U.S. and abroad.
She has led or spoken at numerous workshops and seminars on curriculum development, grant writing and leadership development. She was on the national steering committee for research applications in family and consumer sciences and on the review panel for national standards for education in family and consumer sciences.
She is a past president of the International Textile and Apparel Association and has been elected a Fellow of the association. She is also a leader in the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, serving on the board of directors and as vice president for programs, and currently as associate editor of the association’s research journal. She received the association’s Leader Award in 1999.
In addition, Jolly has been national program vice chair for Kappa Omicron Nu professional honor society and served on the group’s national editorial board.
At the University of Tennessee she served on a committee of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and on the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable. She was a member of the university’s Athletic Board and served on numerous committees dealing with academic and administrative matters. She received the 2006 Chancellor’s Award for extraordinary service to the university.
UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences was founded in 1933 under the name College of Home Economics. The college enrolls about 1,500 undergraduates-the fourth-largest undergraduate enrollment at UGA-and about 120 graduate students, and has 87 faculty members including faculty in the Cooperative Extension Service.
Departments in the college include textiles, merchandising and interiors, child and family development, foods and nutrition, housing and consumer economics and the Institute on Human Development and Disability.