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Marion Gillis Olion

M Olion Fayetteville State University Dean of the School of Education

Fayetteville State University and its Board of Trustees announced Dr. Marion Gillis-Olion as the Dean of the School of Education in July 2015.

Dr. Gillis-Olion has been employed at FSU since 1983. Most recently, she served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, SACS Liaison, and Director of Self- Study—another responsibility associated with the SACS accreditation process. She also has previously served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Chairperson of Elementary Education, and Dean of the School of Education (2002-2004). With over 32 years of academic administrative experience at FSU, she has a wealth of knowledge about the institution’s mission, policies, and practices.

Dr. Gillis-Olion’s educational background includes a BA from Kean University (formerly Newark State College) in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading, a MA from The Ohio State University in Reading with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education, and a PhD also from The Ohio State University in Early and Middle Childhood with an emphasis on Reading and Organizational Change. In addition, she has attained teaching licenses in the states of New Jersey and North Carolina.

Her professional affiliations and accomplishments are many. She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, the International Reading Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and National Council of Teachers of English. She has extended her expertise to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners and Executive Board (Complaint Review Committee), NC State Department of Public Instruction Program Approval Team as a Committee Chair, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Board of Directors to name a few.

Dr. Gillis-Olion’s scholarly activities include several publications on early childhood education, effective teaching, reading, special education, and assessment of culturally diverse exceptional children. She has presented on the topics of higher education assessment, accreditation, and critical thinking.

Her service to the university, community, and public are equally extensive. She has written and managed multiple grants, served as a faculty and curriculum advisor, developed policies for tenure and promotion, and successfully led the most recent SACS accreditation reaffirmation team at FSU. Dr. Gillis-Olion has served as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, NC; as Chair of the Joint Planning Board of Cumberland County; and on the Leadership Team of the Women’s Giving Circle of Cumberland Community Foundation.

“Fayetteville State University is blessed to have a cadre of exemplary leaders who are ready and willing to accept the mantle of responsibility associated with serving as a Dean, said Chancellor James A. Anderson. “Dr. Gillis-Olion’s qualifications make her an excellent choice evidenced by her outstanding background and her proven performance at FSU which has been exemplary.”

Dr. Gillis-Olion’s tenure at FSU that spans three decades has been in the Division of Academic Affairs. Dr. Jon Young, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, agreed that having an administrator that understands teacher education, leadership, and other important aspects of the program is a great asset to the university.

“We are fortunate that Dr. Gillis-Olion has accepted the position of Dean of the School of Education again in her career at FSU,” said Dr. Young. “She has always been willing to serve FSU when and where needed and this time is no different. I have first-hand knowledge of her extensive capabilities, exceptional performance, professionalism, and the leadership qualities she brings to the deanship. Without question, I have complete confidence and am thrilled she will be leading our School of Education going forward.”

FSU is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU offers nearly 60 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With more than 6,100 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation.

A Constituent Institution of The University of North Carolina