Annette Kluck Named New Dean of Graduate School

Auburn University assistant provost to oversee university's graduate programs

Annette Kluck

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has hired Annette Kluck as dean of the university’s Graduate School following a nationwide search.

Kluck, who has 12 years of experience in graduate education, comes to UM from Auburn University, where she most recently served as assistant provost for women’s initiatives in the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, and as a professor of counseling psychology in the university’s College of Education.

She assumes her position at Ole Miss on March 1. The Graduate School, organized in 1927, included more than 2,100 students in the fall of 2018 enrolled in master’s, specialist and doctoral programs ranging from accountancy to teacher education.

“As we look toward the future of higher education and the world of work within the U.S. and across the globe, it will be critical to ensure access to excellent graduate education for all students,” said Kluck, who is a licensed psychologist and has led a program accredited by the American Psychological Association for seven years.

“I am excited to be the next dean of the Graduate School at UM, where I will join the administration and a team of wonderful professionals whose work has helped build an exceptional reputation for the university – a reputation as an institution that prepares outstanding graduate-level researchers, scholars, teachers, practitioners and entrepreneurs.”

Kluck began her Auburn career in 2006 as an assistant professor of counseling psychology, was promoted to associate professor in 2011 and became a full professor in 2017. She holds Level 2 Graduate Faculty Status with the university’s Graduate School. Before Auburn, she was a teaching assistant and a statistical consultant in the psychology department at Texas Tech University.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2001, her master’s in psychology from Texas Tech University in 2003 and her doctorate in counseling psychology from Texas Tech in 2006.

Collaborating with the graduate faculty to identify innovative new graduate offerings and areas for strategic expansion will ensure UM is positioned to be a leader of graduate education in an ever-changing world, Kluck said.

Part of the collaboration includes working with graduate students, graduate faculty and university staff to develop a strategic plan to guide the important work of the Graduate School, and to position the school to provide the wraparound services needed to facilitate an educational experience that supports graduate students in their professional and personal development.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Kluck to increase graduate enrollment and to expand the programs that offer graduate education to those in our state, region and nation,” UM Provost Noel Wilkin said.

Before becoming assistant provost at Auburn, Kluck was the university’s doctoral program training director for counseling psychology from 2011 to 2017 and co-training director in 2018. In fall 2016, she was selected for a Presidential Administrative Fellowship at Auburn, which helped her learn about institutional operations in preparation for an administrative role and where she also led a project that contributed to the university’s strategic plan through a focus on student retention.

Kluck has more than 16 years of classroom experience, both at Auburn and Texas Tech. She also earned the College of Education 2016 Leischuck Graduate Teaching Award, the Women’s Studies 2016 Faculty Achievement Award and the College of Education 2015 Faculty Award for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity at Auburn.

Her former positions, from being a graduate faculty member to an assistant provost, have given Kluck a strong understanding of the range of challenges faced by graduate students and faculty, she said.

“As the new leader of the Graduate School, I will draw on my success directing a doctoral program through program-level re-accreditation and compliance, increasing the diversity of the student body and developing curricula,” she said.

Kluck is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

She has served in a number of leadership positions, including as chair of the Continuing Education Committee for Division 17 of the American Psychological Association in 2017-18, membership chair for the Counseling Health Psychology Section for Division 17 of the American Psychological Association from 2008 to 2018, and as co-chair of the advisory board, leading development efforts, for the Academy for Eating Disorders from 2008 to 2011.

Kluck takes the place of Christy Wyandt, who has served as interim Graduate School dean since 2016. Starting March 1, Wyandt, a professor of pharmaceutics and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, will serve as associate dean and assist Kluck in the transition.

“We are indebted to Dr. Wyandt for her commitment to graduate education and her work as interim dean,” Wilkin said. “I truly appreciate her contributions to the university.”