University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Shelbie Witte named Dean of the College of Education & Human Development at UND

After a nationwide search, Shelbie Witte has been appointed to the position of Dean of the College of Education & Human Development at the University of North Dakota.

The appointment was made by Eric Link, UND provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Witte is currently the Kim and Chuck Watson Endowed Chair in Education and Senior Director of Outreach and Teacher Education at Oklahoma State University, where she is professor of adolescent literacy and English Education. Her start date at UND will be July 1.

“We are excited that Dr. Witte will be joining us at UND as the next Dean of the College of Education & Human Development,” Link said. “She has shown herself to be a collaborative and innovative leader with considerable administrative experience who will work across the University and with external stakeholders to best serve our students and the state of North Dakota.

“I have been impressed with her passion for the work of faculty and staff in the College, and I look forward to seeing CEHD flourish under her leadership.”

Witte expressed her excitement to be joining UND.

“I am thrilled to join the College of Education & Human Development at the University of North Dakota and look forward to working with the exceptional faculty, staff, students and larger UND community in fulfilling the mission and growth-focus of the flagship institution,” she said.

Witte will succeed Cheryl Hunter, who has served as interim dean since August. Hunter’s appointment took effect following the departure of Cindy Juntunen, who served as dean from 2016 to 2023.

In addition to her current role, Witte is site director emeritus of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project and founding director of the Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age, which recognizes the annual recipients of the Divergent Award for Literacy in a Digital Age Research, providing theory-to-practice resources for classroom teachers and students interested in implementing digital literacies in the classroom.

Witte began her teaching career in 1995 as an English Language Arts teacher in a small city in southwest Oklahoma. Throughout her career, she has taught every level of adolescents and adults, from middle school through doctoral students, in rural, urban and suburban communities. Witte was selected as a finalist for 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and was National Board Certified in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts in 2006. She has a decades-long membership to the National Council of Teachers of English, where she has served in many capacities, including the nationally-elected middle-level representative to the Executive Committee, and most recently co-editor, along with Sara Kajder, of the premiere middle-level journal “Voices from the Middle.” Witte received her B.S. in English Education from the University of Oklahoma and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Kansas State University. Prior to her position at Oklahoma State University, she was a tenured professor at Florida State University.