University News

University of New Haven Names Shaily Menon, Ph.D., Dean of its College of Arts and Sciences

A strategic thinker and leader in innovative interdisciplinary education, Shaily Menon, Ph.D. will join the University of New Haven in summer 2021 after a distinguished career at Saint Joseph’s (PA) University and Grand Valley State University.

November 24, 2020

By Dave Cranshaw, Office of Marketing and Communications

Shaily Menon, Ph.D.
Shaily Menon, Ph.D.

The University of New Haven has announced that Shaily Menon, Ph.D., a higher education leader in innovation, design thinking, and community engagement, has been named the dean of its College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Menon joins the University from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She will officially begin her role no later than July 1, 2021.

University President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., said, “Dr. Menon is a highly esteemed scholar and a visionary leader who has a distinguished track record of thinking strategically to develop innovative interdisciplinary programs, and I expect she will have a far-reaching impact on the University and our students’ futures. She will be an ideal leader as we reimagine the vision for the College of Arts and Sciences for the future.”

At Saint Joseph’s, Dr. Menon developed a mission statement, vision, and values for the College of Arts and Sciences and, in consultation with key stakeholders, reconstituted and re-energized its Advisory Board. She also helped establish programs in areas such as artificial intelligence, computational engineering and applied physics, cybersecurity, art history and graphic design.

She facilitated the launch of a new School of Health Studies and Education at Saint Joseph’s, chaired the search for a founding dean to lead the school, and executed an effective yearlong transition plan. During her three years as dean, she hired 14 tenure-track faculty to enhance existing arts, humanities, social sciences, and science disciplines, and to help launch new interdisciplinary programs in geospatial analysis, digital humanities, and data science.

According to Mario T. Gaboury, J.D., Ph.D., interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of New Haven, “Dr. Menon brings significant experience in strategic academic planning and interdisciplinary program development to the University of New Haven. She has earned distinction for her academic work in biology, environmental ethics, zoology, and anthropology and is an excellent fit for the College.”

Before joining Saint Joseph’s, she served as associate dean for research, facilities planning, and community engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University. She also held a special projects assignment overseeing community engagement and design thinking for social innovation in the Office of the Provost.

In 2015-16, Dr. Menon completed the prestigious American Council on Education Fellowship program as a fellow in the president’s office at San Francisco State University. As part of that assignment, she explored effective models for university-wide initiatives on community engagement and design thinking for social innovation, at San Francisco State and the Stanford University

Soon after completing her fellowship, she was invited by the Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College – one of the most selective colleges in the country – to facilitate a strategic visioning retreat for the math department that focused on the development of a new core curriculum.

Prior to her ACE Fellowship, she served for four years as associate dean for professional development and administration at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University. Previous to that appointment, she served Grand Valley State as a professor, program coordinator, and department chair, among other appointments, in biology for nearly 20 years. She is widely published in the areas of environmental ethics, conservation biology, and global change, and she has secured nearly $3 million in grant support.

A member of the Board of Directors of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, she has participated in the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership offered by Georgetown University and Arizona State, and she has taken part in the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.

Dr. Menon served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She earned her Ph.D. at Ohio State University through an interdisciplinary program in zoology, natural resources, and anthropology, and completed her M.S. in animal behavior and ecology at the University of South Carolina. In addition, she earned both a master’s degree (animal physiology) and bachelor’s degree (biology) from Bombay University in Bombay, India.