John Pollard Named Franke Dean of the W.A. Franke Honors College

Dec. 18, 2023
Franke Dean, John Pollard

After more than a year of serving as Interim Dean at the W.A. Franke Honors College, Professor of Practice in Chemistry and former Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in Franke Honors, Dr. John Pollard, officially steps into the role of Franke Dean. 

In Dr. Pollard’s 21 years as an educator at the University of Arizona, he has received numerous awards for his excellence in teaching and curricular development, and he co-authored the nationally recognized Chemical Thinking curriculum—a prominent part of introductory chemistry courses at the University of Arizona as well as institutions across the world.  

Throughout his career, Dr. Pollard has championed the implementation of evidence-based instructional approaches, published research in understanding collaborative learning environments, and, in 2014, he initiated the collaborative learning space movement on campus, resulting in the conversion of more than 40 classrooms to active learning environments. His work has impacted the teaching practices of hundreds of faculty and the learning experiences of tens of thousands of students.     

As Associate Dean of the W.A. Franke Honors College, Dr. Pollard led the design and implementation of several forward-looking, student-centered programs. Because of these programs, the college was recognized as the Most Improved Honors College by the 2020-21 Inside Honors publication.  

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Pollard in his capacity as Dean of the Franke Honors College.  He is committed to the mission of the college to “empower each student to reveal and pursue their passion.”  He has shown through his academic career that he is an innovator who knows how to create high-quality programs for our diverse students and to lead efforts to advance the honors experience across campus.” 

-Dr. Ronald Marx, Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

During his time as Interim Dean, Dr. Pollard launched the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII), inspired by the University of Technology Sydney. This future-focused, experiential dual-degree program is indicative of the direction Dr. Pollard plans to take the Franke Honors College, leading what it means to be an Honors College in the 21st Century and setting the standard for higher education in times that increasingly require adaptability, creativity, and empathy to face the challenges of the day. 

Further bolstering this vision, in 2023 Dr. Pollard worked with Dr. John Lee Compton to create the Compton Lab for Discovery and Innovation, a $3.2 million gift supporting innovative programming and creating funding opportunities for students to pursue their passions with a deeper sense of wonder and purpose. 

Dr. Pollard's leadership has helped propel the W.A. Franke Honors College forward as a locally and nationally recognized hub of innovation. As Franke Dean, he will no doubt continue to build on the amazing momentum in the college. 

Hear Dr. Pollard in conversation with esteemed guests at our podcast, It's an Honor