Dr. Amy Cataldi is the new dean of Petree College of Arts and Sciences.
Cataldi was named to the post Feb. 14 after serving as an interim dean since Spring 2015. Cataldi became the interim dean after Dr. Mark Davies, Wimberly professor of social and ethological ethics, stepped down from the post.
Cataldi has been at OCU for more than 15 years, during which time she served as an adjunct professor, a visiting instructor and then a tenured professor in the psychology department. After this, she became the department’s chairwoman. Three years ago, Cataldi transitioned into administration and served as the associate dean until becoming interim dean.
Before arriving at OCU, Cataldi was involved in research and testing for the Oklahoma City school system.
“I pursued the dean position because I can see the forward momentum of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences, and I absolutely want to be a part of that,” Cataldi said. “The obvious combination of intellect, creativity, dedication, and spirit in every member of the Petree tribe—faculty, staff and students—makes this position an enviable one.”
The process for choosing a new dean began with a 10-person search committee, some of whom were chosen by faculty and some by the provost. After the formation of the committee, a job ad for the dean position was posted in hopes of attracting potential interviewees from across the nation. Out of 40 respondents who were chosen, seven were given Skype interviews, then three of the seven were chosen for an all-day personal interview. Cataldi was one of the three and came out of the process as the chosen candidate.
“She has a really good understanding of what arts and sciences are and is passionate for promoting them,” said Dr. Laurie Kauffman, associate professor of biology and chairwoman of the search committee.
“She had a great vision for the arts and sciences and many have been impressed with her work as interim dean.”
To some students of Petree, Cataldi is a familiar face to head the dean position.
“I think Dean Cataldi was a great pick,” said Tommy Grossnicklaus, political science senior. “She was already in the position and showed she was willing to compete to keep it. I have had nothing but great experiences with her.”
Cataldi said the acquisition of this position means a lot to her.
“I am ecstatic and humbled,” she said. “The Petree College has a long and vibrant history as an integral part of every OCU student’s education and as a meaningful contributor to the campus culture. To play any role in that legacy is an honor.”