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News Article

Chancellor's First Friday, April 2012

04/06/2012

Senior Leadership Change

Building upon its long and distinguished history, Arkansas State University continues to progress in many areas and fronts as it fulfills its mission, goals and objectives in an exemplary manner.  Among other things, the university is in the midst of a well-considered and carefully orchestrated senior leadership change in which Dr. Tim Hudson has been named chancellor by ASU System President Dr. Charles W. “Chuck” Welch, following a rigorous national search.  Although Dr. Hudson’s official first day of serving as chancellor is May 1, 2012, already he has been engaged actively and effectively with the ASU campus, alumni, surrounding community, major donors, leadership of the state, and others.  Relatedly, three academic decanal positions (i.e., dean of the College of Fine Arts, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and dean of the College of Communications) have been filled, respectively, by Dr. Donald Bowyer, Dr. Lauri Umansky and Dr. Brad Rawlins, following competitive national searches.  Please feel encouraged to join me in welcoming Chancellor Hudson and Deans Bowyer, Umansky and Rawlins to our academic community.  Biographical information is available in university news releases about the appointments of Chancellor Hudson and Deans Bowyer, Umansky and Rawlins.

Changes among the leadership of academic institutions of higher education occur regularly and should be considered as times of celebration, recognition of those vacating positions who served with positive distinction, and excitement about the anticipated contributions of the new leaders.  In this regard, we appreciate deeply the many contributions made to ASU by Dr. Glen Jones, interim executive vice chancellor and provost.  Dr. Jones, following a national search, will begin serving as of July 1, 2012, as president of Henderson State University, of which he is an alumnus.  Returning to one’s alma mater as chief executive officer is one of the highest achievements possible.  Clearly, our campus and community wish Dr. Jones great success in his new position and have every expectation that he will provide visionary leadership to Henderson State and that he will remain connected with ASU.

Dr. Carol O’Connor is retiring from ASU as interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  In addition to serving as an academic administrator, Dr. O’Connor has been a member of the ASU professoriate and an active scholar with a strong and positive national reputation.  Interim dean of the College of Fine Arts, Dr. Dale Miller, who has been doing a wonderful job since Dr. Dan Reeves retired in 2011, will be returning full-time as a faculty member and director of the ASU Choirs.  Finally, Dr. Osa Amienyi, who has contributed a great deal to ASU as interim dean of the College of Communications since the retirement of Dr. Russ Shain, will be returning to the position of chair of the Department of Radio-Television.  Please feel encouraged to extend heartfelt appreciation to Dr. O’Connor, Dr. Miller, and Dr. Amienyi for their exceptional service to ASU.

Dr. Andy Novobilski, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, graciously has agreed to serve, in an interim capacity, as associate vice chancellor for research, director of the Office of Research and Technology Transfer, and director of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI).  Relatedly, Dr. John Pratte, associate dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, kindly has agreed to serve, in an interim capacity, as dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. These are critical academic positions, especially as ASU moves into its role of a more research-intensive university from its previous role as a master’s comprehensive regional university.  Please feel encouraged to offer your support and appreciation to Dr. Novobilski and Dr. Pratte for accepting the respective challenges with their new positions.

Accreditation Update

For many years, ASU intentionally has been improving its quality in an array of areas as measured by a number of factors including the attainment and reaffirmation of regional and specialized accreditation.  A complete listing of accreditations held by ASU is available online at http://www.astate.edu/a/chancellor/accreditations-and-recognition/index.dot.  Currently, the university is engaged actively in preparing a self-study and is involved fully in planning and continuous quality improvement associated with prudent management and reaffirmation of its regional accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC).  Recently, ASU has been notified of several highly positive developments regarding specialized accreditations in four academic areas, including initial accreditations in the graduate program in social work and the baccalaureate program in magnetic resonance imaging; continuing accreditation in the baccalaureate program in radiation therapy; and candidacy for accreditation of the coordinated program in dietetics.  These actions provide objective evidence of high quality in these academic areas.  ASU is undergoing processes aimed at achieving specialized accreditation in additional academic areas such as theatre, English as a second language, and sports management.

Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions received, in October 2011, formal notification that its Master of Social Work (MSW) program received initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation (COA) from academic year 2008-09 until October 2015.  This accreditation is exceedingly important, as in order to be eligible for the state licensed master social worker examination, it is necessary to hold the MSW from a Council of Social Work Education-accredited program.  Relatedly, virtually all of the top social work positions in Arkansas and many other states require the licensed master social worker credential.  It should be noted that the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) has been accredited continuously by COA since 1978 and is accredited through 2018.  As with other specialized accreditations, this achievement signifies strict adherence to a variety of objective performance measures.  Without question, the initial accreditation of the MSW is an incredible accomplishment that reflects positively on the overall leadership of the dean of Nursing and Health Professions, Dr. Susan Hanrahan; the interim chair of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Loretta Brewer; the MSW program director, Dr. Richard Freer; and the social work faculty.  Please feel encouraged to offer your congratulations to these individuals if you have not already done so.

On December 21, 2011, ASU was notified by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) that the baccalaureate degree program in magnetic resonance imaging offered by the College of Nursing and Health Professions was evaluated under the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Magnetic Resonance (2003) and received initial accreditation for a period of five years.  According to the notification from JRCERT, this is the maximum duration that may be awarded for this program.  Specialized accreditation provides benefits to ASU in terms of being able to recruit the best students and most capable faculty, and to provide an academic degree that facilitates the placement of graduates into well-paying professional positions or into advanced academic programs.  Clearly, this is a signal accomplishment for the College of Nursing and Health Professions, under the overall leadership of Susan Hanrahan, dean; the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, under the leadership of Ray Winters, chair; and the magnetic resonance imaging program, under the leadership of Cheryl DuBose, director.  Please feel encouraged to extend heartfelt congratulations to Dean Hanrahan, Ray Winters, Cheryl DuBose and their colleagues for this meaningful achievement.

On March 2, 2012, ASU was notified by The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) that the baccalaureate degree program in radiation therapy offered by the College of Nursing and Health Professions was evaluated under the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program in Radiation Therapy (2011) and received continuing accreditation for a period of eight years.  According to the notification from JRCERT, this is the maximum duration that may be awarded for this program.  Again, this is a significant achievement for the College of Nursing and Health Professions, under the overall leadership of Dean Hanrahan; Ray Winters, department chair; and the Radiation Therapy Program, under the leadership of Tracy B. White, director.  Please feel encouraged to congratulate Susan Hanrahan, Ray Winters, Tracy White and their colleagues for this meaningful achievement.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) informed ASU on March 8, 2012, that it has granted ASU candidacy for accreditation and has authorized the enrollment of 20 first-year and 20 second-year students annually with a clinical concentration in nutrition and dietetics at the baccalaureate level.  These students and subsequent cohorts concluding the program successfully will be eligible to become active members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and to write the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registration Examination for Dietitians.  A self-study and site-visit for accreditation will be scheduled after two classes have graduated and have written the Registration Examination for Dietitians.  Clearly, this is a major accomplishment that occurred under the overall leadership of Dr. Susan Hanrahan and Nutrition and Dietetics Program Director Pamela Towery.  Please feel encouraged to extend heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Hanrahan and Director Towery.

Phi Kappa Phi

Among other positive distinctions, ASU’s Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society received positive recognition as a “Chapter of Merit” in March 2012.  This distinction is associated with PKP chapters which “excel in recognizing and promoting academic excellence in all fields of higher education and engaging the community of scholars in service to others.”  It also reflects that ASU’s PKP chapter is “recognized as a thriving organization that meets frequently, holds annual initiations, and applies frequently for Phi Kappa Phi’s select scholarships, grants and fellowships."  According to its website, “Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and all-discipline honor society,” making this “Chapter of Merit” recognition all the more meaningful and important.  Annette Stacy, associate professor of nursing, is the PKP president at ASU and has done a superb job in this capacity.  Please feel encouraged to extend congratulations to Ms. Stacy, astacy@astate.edu, on this wonderful accomplishment.  More information about Phi Kappa Phi is available at the ASU chapter’s web page.

Distance Learning Update

In order to address the growing needs and interests of students and prospective students and employers as well as to protect the viability of its academic programs, ASU is expanding its academic offerings delivered by distance learning.  Currently, more than 5,500 ASU students are taking one or more academic courses by distance learning and among them more than 2,000 are taking complete academic programs online such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) offered through the College of Business, under the overall leadership of Dr. Len Frey; the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, under the overall leadership of Dr. Lynita Cooksey; the Master of Public Administration, under the overall leadership of interim Dean Dr. Carol O’Connor and immediate leadership of Dr. Will McClain, chair of the Department of Political Science; and an array of Master of Science in Education programs and the Educational Specialist degree, under the overall leadership of Dr. Greg Meeks, interim dean of the College of Education, and the immediate leadership of Dr. Mitch Holifield, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Special Education. 

Although the last issue of First Friday was dedicated to distance learning, it did not cover recent efforts by the College of Nursing and Health Professions, under the overall leadership of Dr. Susan Hanrahan, and Dr. Deborah Persell, coordinator, Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education, to offer the Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Graduate Certificate in Disaster Health, and the Master of Science (MS) in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (DPEM) by distance learning in partnership with the Center for Domestic Preparedness.  The AAS in DPEM is a 60 credit-hour program in which courses are offered in seven-week blocks of time.  It is an interdisciplinary program intended to prepare students to enter professions in disaster preparedness and emergency management.  Also interdisciplinary in its structure, the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Health is comprised of 18 graduate-level credit hours delivered via six, three-credit-hour courses that are delivered in intensive seven-week blocks of time.  Finally, the MS in DPEM is comprised of 36 prescribed and approved graduate-level credit hours divided into six modules, containing two graduate courses, which may be taken in any order except for module six (which contains an internship, research project or thesis) that must be taken after completion of all other modules.  As with most graduate programs, there are a number of prerequisite courses that must be completed satisfactorily before admission into the MS in DPEM program.  Graduates from the MS in DPEM are expected to be well prepared to provide leadership for professional positions in organizations that are engaged in disaster preparedness, mitigation, planning, response and recovery.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (DPEM), the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Health, and the Master of Science (MS) in DPEM offered by distance learning in partnership with the Center for Domestic Preparedness, should contact Dr. Deborah Persell, coordinator, Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness, dpersell@astate.edu.  They may also visit the Center’s website.

Distinguished Behavior

ASU faculty, staff, administrators, and students continue to distinguish themselves in many areas, reflecting positively on them and the university.  For example, this past weekend, Officer Robert Peevey of the University Police Department engaged in a heroic and successful effort to save the life of a female ASU student who had stopped breathing as the consequence of an existing medical condition.  Officer Peevey acted in full accord with his training as a UPD officer to assess the condition of the victim and to take appropriate lifesaving action by administering successfully cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  Without this heroic action, one of our students would have met a tragic fate.  All of us owe Officer Robert Peevey our heartfelt appreciation for his successful lifesaving efforts and for placing service above self.

About First Friday

First Friday is written as a means of providing major campus stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, students, alumni, government officials, donors and other friends) with valid, reliable and timely information about Arkansas State University.  It is also directly correlated with and supportive of a commitment to transparency, inclusiveness and shared governance.  Tom Moore has done an excellent job in editing First Friday and Sherry Johnson and Marilyn Brewer do a superb job in double proofing each issue.  Although every effort is made to provide correct information in First Friday, I take full responsibility for any and all unintentional errors and ask your forgiveness in advance for any of my shortcomings.  Anyone interested in reviewing previous issues of First Friday may do so by clicking on Archive.

Conclusion

Unquestionably, I have been honored and humbled to have had the incredible opportunity to serve as interim chancellor at Arkansas State University from July 1, 2010, until April 30, 2012.  It has certainly helped me to grow and develop professionally and as a person.  Clearly, I am indebted deeply to many individuals and groups who contributed to numerous achievements that ASU has accomplished recently.  Please accept this communication as an effort to express my deep appreciation to all who make ASU so very special.  I am looking forward to resuming my former position as executive vice chancellor and provost on May 1, 2012, and becoming an active supporter and member of Chancellor Tim Hudson’s senior administrative team.  You have my assurance that I will continue to invest myself fully in meeting the important duties and obligations of my position at ASU and I hope that you will forgive any unintentional errors that I have committed or may commit in the future.

Warmest regards,

Dan