PITTSBURG — The largest college at Pittsburg State University is under new leadership.

Dr. Mary Carol Pomatto has served as interim dean for the PSU College of Arts and Sciences since January and recently has had “interim” removed from the title.

“It's such an honor to be selected to provide academic and administrative leadership for the college of arts and sciences and to have the opportunity to work closely with the academic leaders in each of our 11 departments and the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing,” Pomatto said in an email.

Pomatto was previously director of the nursing school. She will succeed Karl Kunkel, who accepted the provost position at Southeast Missouri State University, as dean of the college, which is the largest at PSU with more than 50 degree programs.

Pomatto said there will be a “renewed focus on recruitment and retention of students using best practices from comparable institutions.”

The state has made cuts to PSU’s budget twice in the last fiscal year, making retention all the more important. Pomatto said all state universities are facing difficult times, but believes strong leadership, alumni and community support will allow PSU to prevail.

In a press release, PSU Provost Lynette Olson said Pomatto’s appointment as dean was based on the recommendations of her colleagues.

“After consulting with College of Arts and Sciences leaders, who without exception affirmed Dr. Pomatto’s positive and steady leadership over the past months, it is evident to me that we could not ask for nor find a stronger leader for the college,” Olson said in the release.

— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at mstavola@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.