L. Christopher Plein has been named assistant dean of the School of Applied Social Sciences in West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Plein, chair and associate professor of the Division of Public Administration, will take on his additional duties in July. He succeeds David Williams, who is retiring.

The School of Applied Social Sciences is made up of the divisions of Public Administration, Social Work and Sociology and Anthropology.

Plein, who joined the WVU faculty in 1992, teaches courses in the legal and political foundations of public administration. His research interests include social policy and community development.

He is the co-author of”Welfare Reform in West Virginia ,”which was recently published by WVU Press. In 2003, he received the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Public Service Award.

Plein said he looks forward to his new responsibilities.

“An important role of assistant dean of the School of Applied Social Sciences is to facilitate and support the collaborative efforts undertaken by the various units that make up the school,”he said.

Collaborative efforts already under way include outreach and service activities focusing on welfare reform and other changes in health and human services in West Virginia and beyond. In addition, dual degree and other program options provide many opportunities for students to learn across the fields that are represented in the school.

A focus on community development and citizen engagement will provide new opportunities in the future.

“We have a solid track record of advancing the mission of collaborative outreach, instruction and research, and this has been accomplished through productive working relationships between the chairs and faculty of each division,”Plein said.

“The school looks forward to working with other units in the college and the University in fulfilling and furthering the school’s role and contribution,”he added.

Plein was born in Washington , D.C. , and grew up in northern Virginia . He has a bachelor’s degree from Emory and Henry College , a master’s degree in political science from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.