Grad dean also keeps former job

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders is not losing its director, but the Graduate College is gaining a new dean this fall.

Thomas Hixon, who was appointed last week as dean of the graduate college and assistant vice president for research, plans to also continue his job at the center after he takes on his new responsibilities in September.

The $95,000-per-year top position in the graduate college has been available since last year when Martha Gilliland was promoted to the position of vice provost of academic affairs. Hixon was selected from 13 applicants.

"He is a superb scholar and a leader in his field," said Michael Cusanovich, the vice president of research, who made the final decision in Hixon's appointment. "He has experience in all the relevant areas and has successes in all the relevant areas."

Hixon has worked at the University of Arizona since 1976, first as a professor of speech and hearing science, then as chair of the department during its move from the the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences to the Faculty of Science. Since 1985, Hixon has been director of the Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders.

Hixon's "proven leadership abilities," both in his current position and with the American Indian graduate program, also singled him out as a very qualified candidate, Cusanovich said.

Hixon will be able to continue providing his leadership to the Center for Neurogenic Research, since his new job description requires him to conduct research projects of his own and the $1.5 million grant that funds the center's research efforts also requires Hixon's participation.

Hixon was conducting research all day and was unavailable for comment, but he said in a statement through his office that he feels honored to be selected and is excited to start the job.

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