Chatham News

New dean & assistant dean to head College for Graduate Studies and College for Continuing and Professional Studies

By: Paul A. Kovach, Chief Communications Officer
June 14, 2011

(June 14, 2011) … Chatham University has named Sharon L. Fross, Ph.D. as dean of the College for Graduate Studies and of the College for Continuing and Professional Studies, according to an announcement by Laura S. Armesto, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition, Jenna K. Templeton, Ed.D., has been hired as assistant dean of the College for Graduate Studies and of the College for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Chatham’s coeducational College for Graduate Studies offers 19 certificate and degree programs through the doctoral level. The College for Continuing and Professional Studies offers ten certificate and degree programs through the doctoral level via online and hybrid formats.

“Dr. Fross’ broad experience at small and large institutions, both public and private, and with for-profit and non-profit makes her the ideal leader for the two Colleges,” Dr. Armesto explains. “While they remain separate Colleges, both will benefit from having one dean and assistant dean with the knowledge and experience to develop stronger collaborations between the two. Also, as enrollment continues to increase for both the on-the-ground and online programs, Dr. Fross and Dr. Templeton will be responsible for establishing more partnerships with other institutions around the world.”

Dr. Fross previously was Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Prior to that she served as Vice Provost for University Outreach at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Director of Continuing Education at Penn State University-University Park; and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Charleston. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, a Master of Public Administration from the College of Charleston/University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the College of Charleston.

She has been a consultant and program reviewer for a variety of institutions such as Simmons College and Kent State University as well as a member of State committees and panels on planning and workplace equity and the status of women. Dr. Fross’ international activities include participation in the South Carolina State Partnership with Rhineland/Palatinate and Brandenburg, Germany; work with the Fundacion Xavier de Salas in Trujillo, Spain; and with South African initiatives.

Dr. Fross has presented on a variety of topics such as community partnerships, engagement, economic development, and outreach at numerous national conferences and State panels and is an active with the American Council on Education (ACE), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and University Professional and Continuing Education (UPCEA).

“Dr. Templeton and I look forward to making Chatham’s current degree programs available to wider audiences and to working with regional business and industry leaders to foster new development,” Dr. Fross says. “Having applied graduate and degree-completion programs on campus as well as online presents greater opportunities for Chatham University. I am struck by President Barazzone’s vision and commitment to the greater Pittsburgh community and region, and Dr. Templeton and I will work closely with her and others to develop bold new programs to meet emerging workforce needs.”

Jenna K. Templeton, Ed.D. previously was Director of Online Academic and Support Services at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Since 1998 at the Art Institute she also served as Associate Dean of Distance Education; Director of Student Life; Disability Services Coordinator; and Counselor. She earned an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership for Higher Education at Nova Southeastern University; an M.Ed. in Counselor Education for Rehabilitation Counseling and BA in Psychology at Penn State University.

Dr. Templeton also served as an instructor at both Penn State’s Beaver Campus and the University of Pittsburgh. She has presented on subjects including online learning, assessment of student learning outcomes, and social skills training for behavior-problem adolescents. She is active with University Professional and Continuing Education Association and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit