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Santa Monica College Appoints New Vice President of Academic Affairs


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By Lookout Staff

September 5, 2018 -- Dr. Jennifer Merlic -- who already has made a mark on Santa Monica College's curriculum -- has assumed the post of Vice President of Academic Affairs, College officials announced Wednesday.

Merlic -- who will provide leadership and oversight for SMC’s instructional programs and services -- was appointed by the College Board of Trustees at its meeting Tuesday.
Dr. Jennifer Merlic
Dr. Jennifer Merlic (Courtesy SMC)

“Over two decades, she displayed outstanding leadership skills in roles as a professor and faculty leader/administrator, which led to vital advancements for SMC," said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, who recommended Merlic's appointment.

“Dr. Merlic’s leadership experience is truly expansive and has prepared her to advance (SMC's) mission of open access and a superior teaching-learning experience, with a clear focus on ensuring the success of every SMC student.”

Merlic's responsibilities have included developing SMC’s annual academic plan of more than 7,500 classes -- 15 percent of them online.

She also helped create SMC’s STEM Science and Research Initiative in partnership with UCLA and authored the proposal for SMC’s Bachelor of Science degree in Interaction Design, college officials said.

In addition, Merlic helped guide SMC’s efforts in "redesigning the student experience, to reduce the equity gap,” Jeffery said.

“The attention to detail and a deep knowledge of SMC’s core mission which Dr. Jennifer Merlic has already displayed and the collaborative relationships she has cultivated will help inspire and set new directions for the college.”

In her new role, Merlic also will oversee academic support services such as the college library, tutoring and computer labs.

After joining SMC as a full-time chemistry professor in 1991, Merlic quickly worked her way up the ranks.

She has served as Director of Academic Computing, Director of Tech Training & Research, Chair of the SMC Physical Science department and Chair of the Academic Senate Department Chairs Committee.

In 2014, she was appointed Dean of Instructional Services, overseeing 23 instructional departments and their chairs, with more than 1,100 full-time and part-time faculty reporting.

She will replace Dr. Georgia Lorenz, who left SMC to became the third president of Seminole State College of Florida last month.


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