Dr. Tia Strait has announced her resignation as dean of the School of Health Sciences, expressing her desire to return to the classroom and to spend more time on research.

Dr. Tia Strait

Dr. Tia Strait

Beginning this fall, Strait will return to the Dental Hygiene Department as a member of the faculty. She served as dean of the school for 15 years.

Strait said she is making the change in order to return to where she began at Missouri Southern 25 years ago.

“I’ve been honored to serve the University and the School of Health Sciences as dean over the past 15 years,” Strait said. “But I have missed teaching and mentoring students as they develop into primary care providers.”

Strait, who began her career as a dental hygienist before moving into higher education and education administration, said she is looking forward to conducting new research projects, some of which will be inter-professional in nature. Serving as dean, she said, has been a rewarding experience.

“I am thankful for the many opportunities this role has provided me, and the outstanding people with whom I have had the pleasure of working,” she said.

Dr. Paula Carson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Missouri Southern will be meeting with faculty members and other stakeholders in order to take steps to fill the integral position.

“With the start of a new school year in a few months, we have an opportunity to reach out to the faculty, students and corporate partners in this school and determine how the university can continue the upward trajectory of the academic programs and best serve the needs of our students,” she said.

President Alan Marble expressed his support of Strait’s desire for more hands-on work with students.

“I want to thank Dr. Strait for her dedicated service to this vibrant and growing organization,” Marble said. “We recognize with deep appreciation her many contributions and look forward to seeing the successes she will continue to have with our students.”