UF College of Education selects accomplished alumna as new associate dean of academic affairs

Dr. Jeri BensonGAINESVILLE, Fla.--- The University of Florida College of Education has recruited one of its own graduates, University of Georgia adminis…


July 28, 2005



Dr. Jeri BensonGAINESVILLE, Fla.— The University of Florida College of Education has recruited one of its own graduates, University of Georgia administrator Jeri Benson, to become its new associate dean of academic affairs.

Benson, who was interim associate dean of finance and administration at Georgia’s College of Education, succeeds 33-year UF education faculty member Rodman Webb, who is stepping down to resume full-time teaching.

Benson, an expert in student performance assessment and measurement, received all three of her academic degrees from UF. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and earned both master’s and doctoral degrees in educational foundations from the College of Education.

She held her most recent post at Georgia for the past year. She was associate dean for academic affairs there for more than three years and has been an education faculty member at Georgia since 1991. She was a professor in educational psychology and also headed that department’s research methods program. She also was a faculty member at the University of Southern California from 1977-83 and at the University of Maryland from 1983-91.

“Along with her extensive administrative experience at one of the premier education colleges at the University of Georgia, Dr. Benson brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of accreditation, assessment and distance education,” said UF education Dean Catherine Emihovich, who announced Benson’s appointment.

In her new post, Benson will oversee all of the college’s administrative and fiscal operations. She will guide implementation of the college’s strategic plan, focus on promoting faculty career opportunities through tenure, promotion and continuing professional development, and develop strategies to enhance the college’s international, national and statewide reputation.

Benson has published nearly 50 journal articles and book chapters. Her research interests include measuring test-taking anxiety in children and college students, and potential biases in student assessment methods. She has co-authored a student evaluation guide for teaching that demonstrates how to apply educational psychology principles to improve learning in the classroom.

“Dr. Benson’s return to UF is bittersweet, since she is assuming these duties as Rodman Webb returns to the faculty for a few years prior to retiring,” Emihovich said.

While on the dean’s staff, Webb organized a national conference on teacher quality, recruitment and retention, guided the college through a successful national accreditation visit in 2003 and steered the development of two new online master’s degree programs. He’s also been instrumental in an ongoing campaign to raise funds and develop plans for renovating historic Norman Hall, the education college’s home since 1934.

“The college is deeply enriched by the extensive contributions Dr. Webb has made during his four years as associate dean and more than 30 years as a faculty member,” Emihovich said.