Avila University announced Andy Jett, Ed.D. as its new Dean for the College of Professional Schools, effective April 6. In his role, Jett will oversee the University’s Schools of Business, Education and Visual and Communications Arts, in addition to the Advantage Institute for Professional Studies.
“Dr. Andy Jett’s extensive experience in higher education in Kansas City, paired with a strategic approach to problem solving, makes him a valuable addition to Avila,” University President Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CJSA said. “Andy’s entrepreneurial leadership style will especially benefit the College of Professional Schools, but his understanding of teaching, developing curriculum, program reviews, accreditation visits and faculty support mean the entire University will gain from his knowledge.”
Jett joins Avila after serving in a variety of roles over 15 years at Baker University, the nearby private, four-year university located in Baldwin City, Kansas. In his most recent role as Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Jett led efforts to optimize institutional online resources for admissions and academics. Notable accomplishments include the introduction of real-time retention artificial intelligence tools that led to greater than 90% engagement from first-year students and 65% engagement from all students, online course surveying to provide accurate assessments of student satisfaction and others.
Previous roles at Baker include Vice President of Strategic Planning, Academic Resources and Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Officer and numerous information technology leadership roles. Prior to Baker, Jett worked for College Booksellers of America as a regional manager and Hutchinson Community College as Student Union Director and Bookstore Manager.
“Having worked in the Kansas City higher education market for many years, I know that Avila has a great reputation for quality instruction and I am excited to build on that foundation to build and grow new programs,” Jett said. “Avila’s commitment to its values, students and strategic evolution help differentiate it from the many small private liberal arts-based universities prospective students have to choose from while applying for college.”
Jett earned his doctorate in higher education leadership from Baker University, in addition to a master of liberal arts in religion in philosophy. He completed his associate’s degree in accounting from Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas before receiving his bachelor’s of business administration from Wichita State University.
As Dean of the College of Professional Schools, Jett will supervise a wide array of subjects and academic levels. With degrees and certifications available from a master’s degree to subject certifications, the college provides numerous opportunities for students to achieve their professional goals through personalized instruction and extensive internship and research possibilities made available through Avila.
“The ability to be nimble and entrepreneurial is increasingly necessary to draw students to any higher education institution, and Avila is no different,” Jett said. “That success starts with the faculty and programs we offer our students. By understanding our students’ needs, our community’s needs and the needs of the current and future workforce, we can prepare our students for success. Seeing what we do through an entrepreneurial lens will be key to that success.”
Jett is the first Dean of the College of Professional Schools, which was reorganized in 2018. Nicole Esquibel, M.F.A., associate professor of Art+Design, served as interim dean since 2018.