Cyndi Banks has been named dean of University College, Provost Laura Huenneke announced Thursday.

Banks had been serving as interim dean since July. When University College was established as a formal unit in summer 2012, Banks filled the role of associate dean, assisting in the college’s initial organization, strategic planning and program design, and development of faculty and staff.

“As we have focused more intently on student success within the institution, we have benefited tremendously from the innovation and dedication of University College faculty and staff,” Huenneke said. “I’m excited to partner with Dean Banks on continuing this creative and important work.”

Before joining University College, Banks served as associate dean of the College and Chair of Criminology and Criminal Justice. During her career at NAU, she established a reputation as a leading researcher on international human rights—especially the rights of children. Her international professional posts included work in Papua New Guinea and the Middle East.

In making the announcement, Huenneke described the foundational characteristics of University College as “an unwavering focus on the student experience, the fitting of specific academic transition programs to the needs of particular groups of students and a willingness to use analytics and data about actual outcomes in decision-making.