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Alice H. Skeens, 1936-2011: UT teacher, dean held numerous campus posts

Alice H. Skeens, 1936-2011:

Alice H. Skeens, who in a versatile nearly half century at the University of Toledo taught at its former community and technical college, was an administrator and became founding dean last year of a new academic college, died Saturday in Toledo Hospital. She was 75.

The cause of death was not known, her son, Charlie, said. She returned to work on Nov. 7 as dean of UT's college of languages, literature, and social sciences after a hip replacement about three weeks ago.

An associate professor of psychology, she engendered respect in the lecture hall and the corridors of power.

Soft-spoken and principled, "she always knew where her center was," said Michael Dowd, chairman of the UT economics department who in 2004 succeeded her as chairman of the UT faculty senate, a post she also held in the early 1980s. "She loved the University of Toledo. She loved the opportunity and promise it offered to students who came here."

She was hired in 1963 to teach at UT's community and technical college. She later became director of counseling and placement at the college often known as ComTech, an assistant professor in the college of arts and sciences, and assistant dean of arts and sciences.

In the early 1980s, she became an associate professor and was appointed associate dean of arts and sciences for student affairs. She was assistant to UT Presidents James McComas and Frank Horton. In 2007, she became UT's faculty athletic representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

She was born May 12, 1936, in Lovern, W.Va., to Junie Bell and Charles Thorne. She had a bachelor's degree from Concord College, Athens, W.Va.; a master's degree from West Virginia University, and a doctorate from UT.

Her husband, Franklin, died Jan. 6, 2009.

Surviving are her son, Charlie (Cindy) Skeens; four grandchildren, Kristen, Molli, Jenna and Josh; and sister, Elaine.

The family is to receive visitors from 2-8 p.m. Thursday in the Bersticker-Scott Funeral Home. Memorial services are to be at 11 a.m. Friday in Doermann Theater at UT.

The family suggests tributes to the UT athletic department, the Alice Skeens Scholarship Fund at the UT Foundation, or the Quota Club.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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