Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Kellie Buford is Appointed Chair of Department of History


JONESBORO – Dr. Kellie Wilson Buford has been named permanent chair for the Department of History by Dr. Brad Rawlins, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication at Arkansas State University.  The appointment is effective immediately.

Dr. Edward Salo was also named as the department's assistant chair.

Buford, an associate professor of history, has been serving as the interim chair since August, and previously served two years as the interim chair for the Department of Sociology and Criminology.  She also directed the BSE social science program for seven years.

“I have been impressed with Dr. Buford’s leadership and management skills and she has the full support of the faculty members in her department,” Rawlins said.  “I believe she can lead the History Department to reach its goals and continue to provide the outstanding education its students receive.”

After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska, Buford started at A-State in 2014.  Her scholarship on the history of the U.S. military in the 20th century, the Cold War, and gender discrimination and sexual violence has yielded a variety of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and a historical monograph. Her current book project, “Collateral Damage: Sexual Violence and U.S. Military Justice,” maps the military justice system’s efforts to manage sexual violence since 1950.

“I am proud to serve as the chair of the History Department and am honored that my colleagues have put their faith and trust in me to lead our team forward,” said Buford. “I am excited to support and empower my colleagues and our students in reaching their professional goals.”

Buford succeeds Dr. Justin Castro, who served as chair for four years and is currently on sabbatical working on another book.  After his sabbatical, he will return as a professor of history. 

“Dr. Castro’s diligent service and leadership is very much appreciated,” Rawlins said. “I had the opportunity to serve with Dr. Castro in the university’s Chair Council and witnessed his passion for the university, his department and the educational experience of the students.”

Serving as the assistant chair, Salo will play a critical role in facilitating new departmental initiatives, mentoring pre-tenure faculty, building interdisciplinary collaborations, and developing collaborative research projects. Salo has joint appointments as an associate professor of history as well as the associate director of Heritage Studies, the college’s doctoral program.  He is also serving in his second year as the Faculty Senate president.

“I can’t think of a more capable colleague to serve in the assistant chair role than Ed Salo,” said Buford. “He is a solution-oriented person with energy, integrity and an unwavering commitment to supporting the department’s mission. It is a privilege to serve alongside him.”

Buford Kellie Wilson.jpg
Dr. Kellie Wilson Buford