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Metzger Named Dean of Honors College

David Metzger, professor and chair of the Old Dominion University English department, has been appointed as new dean of the ODU Honors College.

He succeeds longtime dean Louis H. Henry, who retired at the end of the spring semester.

"I think this is a very exciting opportunity," said Metzger. "It's very exciting when you have the opportunity to help others do well."

Metzger, who joined the ODU faculty in 1993, has spent his entire career at the university in the English department. In addition to his teaching duties, he founded the Writing Tutorial Service, which currently serves roughly 2,000 students.

"Professor Metzger is an excellent choice for the dean of the Honors College at Old Dominion University," noted Provost Carol Simpson. "He brings a special combination of talents and abilities to the role. He is a brilliant and articulate teacher as well as a highly respected scholar. His special interest in interdisciplinary dialogue is particularly relevant to the mission of the college."

Metzger also has served as director of the Jewish Studies Program (2000-07), and he established the Graduate Writing Assistance Program. He has written articles for numerous publications during his ODU tenure, including contributions to the Journal of Advanced Composition, Popular Culture Review, and Literature and Psychology.

His teaching and research have focused on history of rhetoric (biblical, classical and modern), Bible as literature, Jewish studies, composition and pedagogy, psychoanalytic theory and medieval literature.

Metzger, who will step down as department chair on July 1, said that his duties as Honors College dean would not affect his teaching load, although he now will split his classes between the English department and the college. He said that he looks forward to meeting and working with the students and faculty of the college.

Henry was appointed director of ODU's Academic Honors Program in 1987 and had served as dean of the Honors College since its inception 10 years later. Under his tenure, the program grew from an enrollment of 70 students in 1987 to 650 for the 2007-08 school year.

He said that he enjoyed his time as dean, particularly the interaction with students. "I used to say that I had the best job on campus," he noted.

Henry believes that Metzger is a good choice for the Honors College. "He's very qualified," he said.

Simpson echoed Henry's sentiments, adding, "David's vision for the college matches well the mission of the university to enrich the lives of students, faculty, alumni and the community at large. I look forward to working with him to enhance the contributions of the Honors College, especially in the development of an undergraduate research culture at ODU. I am confident that David will be a superb dean of the Honors College."

The Honors College was established in 1997 as a means of furthering the university's commitment to academic excellence. The college offers qualified students the opportunity to enroll in a four-year honors program, which features the best of aspects of both a large-university education and a small-school experience.

High school students who apply for admission to the Honors College are evaluated by grade point average, SAT scores, class rank and a written personal statement.

Honors College students enjoy low-enrollment courses designed specifically for the college, which emphasize teaching and innovation. Students are free to select any major. Majors currently being pursued by Honors College students include English, economics, history, political science, accounting, finance, education, criminal justice, sociology, biology, nursing, music, sports medicine and physics.

This article was posted on: June 6, 2008

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