Rita Bailey named dean of Kennesaw State Honors College

 Rita Bailey


Illinois State assistant provost will bring experience in honors, international studies programs

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 4, 2016) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp has named Rita Bailey as dean of the Honors College, effective July 1.

Bailey currently is assistant provost for the Office of International Studies and Programs, the English Language Institute and the Honors Program at Illinois State University. Along with managing those programs, she serves as provost liaison to the University Curriculum Committee and assists with faculty/staff and student diversity initiatives.

“Rita Bailey’s leadership experience and distinguished scholarship will help advance the Honors College into national and international spotlights,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kennesaw State. “Dr. Bailey is an accomplished researcher, devoted teacher and impressive leader who is deeply dedicated to students and faculty and committed to the continued progress and growth of the College.”

Bailey was selected as dean after a nationwide search chaired by Jon Preston, KSU’s faculty executive assistant to the president. During the search, Becky Rutherfoord served as interim dean, and she will return to the College of Computing and Software Engineering faculty.

Prior to her academic roles, Bailey worked as a hospital- and school-based speech-language pathologist, a pediatric dysphagia specialist, hospital administrator and special-education administrator and consultant in multiple educational settings. She joined the faculty at Illinois State in 2002 and rose to administrative posts of increasing responsibility over the past 14 years.

Bailey serves on Illinois State’s Inclusive Community Response Team, the University Accreditation Team and Reaccreditation Task Force, and the Student Behavior Intervention Team. She also coordinates the activities of the Administrator-in-Residence program and oversees the International Strategic Plan Implementation Team.

“I am thrilled to be joining Kennesaw State University,” Bailey said. “After visiting campus and meeting with faculty, staff, administration and students, I realized that this is indeed a very special place. KSU is an institution that is clearly on the rise, and I am looking forward to making a positive contribution to the University and its students as dean of the Honors College.”

Bailey is an accomplished grant writer, as 25 of the grant proposals she has written or contributed to have been awarded a total of $941,000 in funding for higher education initiatives. She also has authored or co-authored nearly 40 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and other published materials.

Bailey earned an Ed.D. in special education, her third degree from Illinois State University following her master’s degree in speech pathology and bachelor’s degree in speech pathology/audiology.

Kennesaw State’s Honors College provides a community within the University to academically talented, highly motivated students who enjoy lively discussion, creative expression and intellectual challenge. The program offers small honors sections of core courses and interdisciplinary honors seminars, where students focus on deep understanding within an innovative curriculum.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu