Dennis Papini, a native of Orion, Illinois, has been selected as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Illinois, Springfield.

The provost is the university’s chief academic officer, the second highest administrative position in the university, and is responsible to the chancellor for the implementation of the academic priorities of the institution.

Since 2012, Papini has served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at South Dakota State University, where he oversees 15 academic departments. In that role, he helped the university create a new strategic plan and add four degree programs. He helped raise funds for four capital construction projects totaling $86 million and launched an Underrepresented Dissertation Fellows Program to bring minority faculty to teach at South Dakota State.

Papini holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in life-span developmental psychology from West Virginia University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

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Prior to his appointment at South Dakota State, Papini was a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University. He began his career teaching psychology at Southeast Missouri State University from 1983-1986, followed by the University of Arkansas from 1987-90. He taught at Western Illinois University as a professor of psychology from 1990-2004.

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