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Cureton to step down from post at Wisconsin university, to return to Lancaster

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By The Staff

RICHLAND CENTER, Wisc. – Dr. Deborah B. Cureton, campus executive officer and dean of the University of Wisconsin-Richland, will retire after the end of the current academic year and an event to honor her is planned for June 1.

Cureton, who has headed the Richland Center UW campus since July 2001, plans to return to Lancaster to be closer to family.

Cureton is the daughter of Jethro and Katie Brown of Lancaster. She is the former associate dean at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

"Dean Cureton has been an exceptional ambassador for UW-Richland," said Marnie Dresser, an English professor at UW-Richland. "She represented us on committees for the UW colleges and for the UW system, and even took our good message to other states and other countries."She was so active and so visible on campus and in the community. I can't count the number of people who have told me how impressed they were with her work, and how much they like her. She will be very much missed."

Cureton initiated the Richland Reads campus/community shared reading experience. Through her efforts, graduation ceremonies have been enhanced and she established other student recognition events, including fall convocation and an event each semester to recognize students who earn dean's list academic honors. Through her leadership activities and participation in Tempo-Madison and Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership, Cureton extended awareness of UW-Richland in the region, the state and beyond, helping the campus to reach new audiences.

What does Cureton see as the best part of being dean?

"The greatest thrill is when students or alumni tell me what a positive difference UW-Richland has made in their lives," she said. "They often mention names, telling me of specific faculty, staff, classes or events. It's the personal connections that are so gratifying. The work is not without challenges.

Making sure faculty and staff have what they need to do the best job they're capable of doing can be a challenge. Our faculty and staff must often fund out of their own pocket what they need to do to be on the cutting edge; they refuse to be second-best. It's gratifying when we can provide opportunities that help them be exponentially more effective," she said.

A farewell reception in honor of Cureton is planned for June 1 in the UW-Richland Wallace Student Center. For details, contact Lori Norman at lori.norman@uwc.edu or by calling (608) 647-6186, extension 222.