Regis College President Antoinette Hays PhD, RN, has named David Rudder, PhD as the university’s inaugural Dean of Professional Studies. Rudder will establish academic leadership within a new, entrepreneurial Division of Professional Studies at Regis that will primarily serve adult learners and bachelor completers as part of the university's ongoing effort to address workforce development needs, initially in nursing, health sciences, and education. He will begin his role at Regis College in January.
Slated to launch in fall 2022, the Division of Professional Studies will provide flexible learning modalities. Programs will be taught by industry experts, and offerings will evolve based on the ever-changing needs of the workforce. The university will also tap into the educational infrastructure of its schools, such as the Young School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences, to leverage the real-world experience of faculty. With an already robust portfolio of degree completion programs and certificates, this new division will position Regis to further support career growth for contemporary learners.
Dr. Rudder is currently Chair of the Department of Human Services and Associate Dean of the School of Social Work and Behavioral Science at Springfield College, where he oversees the delivery of hybrid and online programs to adult learners, and manages faculty, curriculum development, program accreditation, and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) coordination.
"Dr. Rudder’s deep knowledge of the challenges, opportunities, and changing needs of the local and national workforce, combined with his visionary perspective and commitment to the needs of contemporary students, will be a tremendous resource to the Regis community as we establish our new Division of Professional Studies,” said Regis College President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN. “This new division is an extension of Regis’ commitment to provide alternative pathways for upward mobility to those who are seeking to progress in their chosen profession. Through Dr. Rudder’s leadership, Regis will continue to empower its students to pursue personally and professionally fulfilling careers.”
"I am honored to lead the Division of Professional Studies. I look forward to working with Regis faculty, students, and industry partners to create academic programs that are rigorous, accessible, and meet the needs of the community and the workforce,” said Dr. Rudder. “As an undergraduate alumnus of a Jesuit institution, my values and the desire to be an agent for social change align with Regis College’s mission.”
At Springfield, Dr. Rudder co-developed and launched an online interdisciplinary major in Criminal Justice/Human Services, a degree that prepares students to work collaboratively with social services and community-based organizations in the prevention and treatment concerning the causes and impact of crime. Other notable accomplishments of Dr. Rudder include leading the effort to establish Springfield’s first online degree programs, revamping Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), and increasing student completion and retention rates.
He has led the collaboration with the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative and the Holyoke Public Schools to deepen prevention work with youth and assist in improving systems of care for all residents in the City of Holyoke through the creation of the Holyoke Hub Table. The Hub is made up of over 20 community, medical, government, and other social service agencies that meet weekly to provide coordinated and integrated response to specific situations regarding student(s) and/or families facing elevated levels of risk.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Rudder was associate dean and interim dean for Springfield’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Before that, he was coordinator of student services retention and student success, academic advisor, and assistant athletic director at Delaware Technical Community College (Stanton/ Wilmington campuses).
Dr. Rudder’s recent publications include: “The Need for a Human Services Perspective in Addressing Student Success of African American Males” (forthcoming 2022) and From Surviving to Thriving: Supporting and Mentoring Male Students of Color (2020).
Dr. Rudder earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology/anthropology at Canisius College, his master of science degree in public affairs at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his doctor of philosophy in urban affairs and public policy at the University of Delaware.