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Mission & Leadership


Scott Kinney, MBA

University President, Capella University

Scott Kinney, MBAScott Kinney joined Capella in January 2012 as University President after serving as president of West Education Group at Thomson Reuters Corporation. While at West Education Group, he led a group of five businesses providing legal education products and services to academic and legal professional customers around the world. His experience lies across many industries, with an emphasis on technology and information-driven businesses. Previously, Kinney served as president of FindLaw at Thomson Reuters Corporation from 2004-2007. Prior to that, he was an executive vice president at CBS MarketWatch, and worked for eight years at The Boston Consulting Group. Kinney graduated with an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Amy Donovan, PhD

Chief Academic Officer, Capella University

Amy Donovan, PhDAmy Donovan was appointed chief academic officer (CAO) in April 2012. Since joining Capella in 2006 as a faculty member in the School of Human Services, she has held a number of academic and leadership positions including chair of the university curriculum committee, chair of the Institutional Review Board, and director of research and scholarship/academic and learner support. Donovan has worked in education throughout her professional life, beginning as a school psychologist in Minneapolis Public Schools. She has engaged in early childhood education work as a trainer, consultant, and researcher, and has taught for the University of Minnesota, Saint Mary's University, and Capella University in the areas of research, early childhood education, communication disorders and applied behavior analysis. In 2008, Donovan earned the Harold Abel Distinguished Faculty award for her teaching and mentoring in the School of Human Services. Donovan completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Woman's Studies from Saint Olaf College. She earned her Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Minnesota in Educational Psychology/School Psychology. She holds a license as a school psychologist in the state of Minnesota and is a Certified IRB Professional.

Barbara Butts Williams, PhD

Dean, School of Business

Barbara Butts Williams, PhDBarbara Butts Williams was appointed dean of Capella University's School of Business in 2012. Since joining Capella in 2002, she has served in a variety of academic leadership positions, including dean of School of Education, interim dean, associate dean, director of graduate programs, and MBA program faculty director with the School of Business and Technology.

Butts Williams has more than 30 years of management and leadership experience, including a decade in higher education leadership roles. She previously served as director of executive programs for the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and on the executive education advisory council of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Her corporate experience includes executive education and management positions at The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers), Control Data Corporation (now Ceridian), and Wilson Learning Corporation. She also founded Growth Partners Consulting and was a governor appointee to the Minnesota Board of Social Work and The Metropolitan Council.

Butts Williams earned her Master of Arts in Business and Leadership from Hamline University, and her Master of Arts in Organization Development and Doctor of Philosophy in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University.

Dean Ginther, PhD

Interim Dean, Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Psychology

Dean Ginther, PhDDean Ginther has been a member of Capella's faculty since 2003 and was appointed Interim Dean of the School of Psychology in 2012. His previous positions at Capella include Associate Dean of the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Faculty Chair of the Educational Psychology Specialization, and part-time instructor.

Prior to employment with Capella, Dr. Ginther held a tenure track position as a full professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he lead the Educational Psychology Program, developed a variety of on-line courses and programs, presented and published research, and mentored doctoral and master's level graduate students.

He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Illinois from an APA approved School Psychology program and was awarded a prestigious National Mental Health Graduate Fellowship during his graduate program. After completing his coursework and doctoral proposal, he completed an APA approved internship and subsequently completed his dissertation research, while being employed as a School Psychologist in Michigan. Prior to entering graduate school, he was employed as a fifth grade teacher. His undergraduate degree is a B.A. in psychology and biology from DePauw University.

Suzanne Holmes, DPA

Dean, School of Public Service Leadership

Suzanne Holmes, PhDSuzanne Holmes joined Capella University in 2002 as an adjunct faculty member for the School of Human Services. She also served as core faculty and then as the school's chair for Administration and Management. When Capella launched the public health program in 2007 and the public administration program in 2009, Holmes assumed the role of program chair of these program areas. To help with the launch of the new School of Public Service Leadership in 2009, Holmes assumed the role of the school's interim co-dean; and was later appointed associate dean of the school in 2010.

Holmes's professional background was in healthcare administration where she served in executive leadership positions with hospitals, physician groups and managed care organizations. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Doctor of Public Administration from the University of La Verne. Her focus within the School of Public Service Leadership is to foster professional collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach to addressing issues and concerns facing professions, organizations and communities.

Anna Hultquist, PhD

Dean, Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Counseling and Social Work

Anna Hultquist, PhDAnna Hultquist was appointed dean for the counseling and social work department in the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2012. Previously, Dr. Hultquist served as associate dean for the counseling program areas since 2008.

Dr. Hultquist has over 20 years of experience as a licensed therapist, counselor educator and program director designing programs to meet state and national accreditation standards (CACREP and COAMFTE). In addition to maintaining an active private practice, Dr. Hultquist has established and served as clinical director for two community-based counseling centers that trained graduate-level clinical interns. Service to the profession has included professional licensure initiatives, appointment to the Oregon State Board for Professional Counselors and Therapists, numerous conference presentations and professional articles.

Dr. Hultquist earned a COAMFTE accredited Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island, graduate work in school counseling that included ESL certification, and a PhD in adult education from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Hultquist holds the distinction as a Certified Family Life Educator from the National Council on Family Relations, Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and holds professional memberships in the American Counseling Association, Association for Conflict Resolution and International Association of Coaches.

Suzanne Montella, MBA

Vice President of Graduate Markets and Products

Suzanne Montella, MBASuzanne Montella is vice president of graduate markets and products at Capella University, where she oversees product management, enrollment services, and advising for master's and doctoral programs. She also leads the university's new product development process. Prior to joining Capella in 2000, Suzanne spent 12 years with The Pillsbury Company in various brand management and sales management positions. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Eastern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Lee Owens, MEd

Dean, Undergraduate Studies

Lee Owens, MEdLee Owens was appointed Dean for Undergraduate Studies in 2012. General education undergraduate courses develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to a well rounded baccalaureate program. Owens joined Capella as the Chair of General Education for the School of Undergraduate Studies in October 2006. He has extensive administrative experience in higher education. For thirty-five years, his career in higher education has included positions at Loyola University of Chicago having served in the capacities of faculty member in the School of Education, Assistant Director of the Educational Opportunities Program and Assistant Dean of Students; at Governors State University he served as the director of the Learning Assistance Center. In 1989 Owens joined the City Colleges of Chicago, initially as the Director of Academic Support Services at Harold Washington College, moving into the Dean of Students position at Malcolm X College in 1995 and left Malcolm X College in 2006 as Dean of Career Programs and Continuing Education to join Capella University.

Owens holds a MEd from Loyola University of Chicago and a BA from Roosevelt University. Among recent notable recognitions, he was presented the Kathy Osterman Award from the City of Chicago for Superior Public Service by an Executive Employee in 2005 and in 2000, Owens was presented the Outstanding Administrator in Education Award for 7th U.S. Congressional District of Illinois.

Sue Talley, EdD

Dean, School of Technology

Sue Talley, EdDSue Talley was appointed dean of Capella University's School of Technology in 2012. Since joining Capella in 2006, she has served in a variety of academic leadership positions, including faculty director and associate dean in the School of Undergraduate Studies, responsible for at various times the Instruction Technology, Business, Public Safety, and Nursing programs.

Talley has more than 30 years of management and leadership experience, including nearly a decade in higher education leadership roles. She previously served as Program Director of the Online Master's in Educational Technology program at Pepperdine University and was the Project Director for the PETPrep Project, a Catalyst Grant funded by the Department of Education. Her corporate experience includes almost a decade of corporate sales and marketing work at Apple Computer, Inc. Talley also worked for a variety of non-profit organizations including the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) and Total Information Education Systems (TIES).

Talley earned her Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University in 1995. She earned a Doctor of Education with a specialization in Education Technology from Pepperdine University in 1998.

Andy Watt, BS

Vice President of Undergraduate Programs

Sue Talley, EdDAndy Watt is Vice President of undergraduate programs at Capella University, where he leads the development and execution of growth strategies for the university's undergraduate business, including product development, pricing, learner recruitment, and learner retention. He joined Capella in October of 2002 and has since served in a variety of leadership roles across the organization. Most recently, Andy was a vice president in finance, leading teams focused on financial planning and analysis, marketing and learner success analytics, and institutional research. Prior to joining Capella, Andy worked in transaction advisory services at both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP. Watt graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting.

Feranda Williamson, EdD

Dean, School of Education

Feranda Williamson, EdDFeranda Williamson was appointed dean of Capella University's School of Education in December 2012 in the College of Professional Studies. Previously, she served as the dean of Capella's School of Undergraduate Studies from 2007 until 2012, having served as the school's associate dean prior to that.

Prior to joining Capella in 2005, Williamson held leadership positions at Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. From 1998 to 2004, she served as the college's dean of continuing education and from 2004 to 2005, as dean of career programs. During her time there, she was an Outstanding Education Administrator award recipient from the 7th Congressional District. She previously was employed by Robert Morris College from 1981-1998, first as a member of the business faculty and then as associate dean/program director. Since 1994, Williamson has also served as president/CEO of the ECC Music Workshop/Chicago Mass Choir, an award-winning, Grammy-nominated gospel choir.

Williamson received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois; her Master of Arts in Adult Education from Roosevelt University in Chicago; and her Doctor of Education in Higher Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.

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