Joseph “Andy” Karafa has been named interim dean of Ferris State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Karafa’s appointment is effective beginning Wednesday, Feb. 15, according to an announcement made by Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
“I’d like to thank all those who provided feedback following Dr. Karafa’s open forum session last Tuesday (Feb. 7),” Erickson said. “Additionally, I’d like to thank Andy for his willingness to serve in this important position in the College of Arts and Sciences. I deeply appreciate his leadership efforts and his commitment to the college and Ferris community.”
Most recently, Karafa served as the acting associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, academic department head for the Social Sciences department, associate professor of Psychology, chair of the Academic Leadership Council and director of Ferris’ Jim Crow Museum. After a permanent dean is hired, with a target date of this summer to have the position filled, Karafa will be named the permanent associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Karafa replaces Karen Strasser, the college’s former interim dean, who was recently appointed director of Grants and Research within the Academic Affairs division.
Karafa’s service to Ferris has included extensive leadership roles as well as active service to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. In addition to his current involvement, Karafa’s leadership and interests at the university have included service on the Academic Senate, Academic Affairs Dashboard Working Group, Diversity Workforce Taskforce, Academic Policies and Standards Committee, Tenure Executive Committee, General Education Implementation Committee and Psychology Program Assessment Committee.
In 2010, Karafa led an effort, along with the Institute for International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Diversity and Inclusion Office, to bring an international scholar to Ferris to teach in the Social Sciences department. He also has assisted in the grant application process to support the renovation of the Jim Crow Museum which will celebrate its grand opening on April 26. Recently, Karafa received the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award and was selected to serve on the National Advisory Committee for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.