UA-PTC Trims Divisions, Names New Deans

by Jordan Johnson  on Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018 10:31 am   2 min read

University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College has pared down its six academic divisions to three and added a new administrative division. With the changes come four new deans.

Effective Monday, John Lewis will take over the newly-created dean of admissions and financial aid position; Marico Howe will head the new School of Sciences, Mathematics and Allied Health; Christy Oberste will head the new School of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and Bentley Wallace will head the new School of Technical and Professional Studies. 

In addition, Mason Campbell has been named dean of student affairs. 

Because the six original academic divisions — Fine Arts and Humanities; Technical Sciences; Allied Health, Math and Sciences; Business and Information Technology; and Culinary Arts and Hospitality management — were pared down to three, three dean positions and one staff position were eliminated. 

The restructuring was part of the college's strategic plan laid out in 2017, and is aimed at streamlining academic programs and saving money. The college estimates that the reorganization will save about $344,000 per year.

None of the newly named academic deans held any of the dean positions of the six original divisions. 

Tim Jones, director of public relations and marketing, said the Fine Arts and Humanities dean position had been vacant since December. Technical Sciences Dean Dick Burchett is no longer with the college after his position was eliminated, and Allied Health Dean Jeanne Williams has retired. Math and Sciences Interim Dean Ebony Conley and Business and Information Technology Interim Dean Rebecca Sterling have found faculty positions at the college.

Todd Gold, who was dean of the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute until the restructuring, now holds the title of associate dean of culinary arts/hospitality and south site director. Until the restructuring, CAHMI was a standalone division, but it now exists under the umbrella of the new School of Technical and Professional Studies. 

"The restructuring has strengthened the culinary school with even more layers of support," Gold said. 

Gold's responsibilities now include catering and the college's south campus, in addition to the culinary and hospitality program. 

"The majority of my time [is] still focused on the culinary school as it always has been," he said. 

The Deans

Lewis, an Iowa native, has worked in higher education for 22 years, most recently as director of financial aid at Christian Brothers University in Memphis. He has served as director of financial aid at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville and at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. 

Howe has worked in higher education for a decade, most recently as assistant professor in the UAMS College of Pharmacy and assessment coordinator for the Office of Interprofessional Education in the UAMS Graduate School. She previously worked as a faculty member in the Information Science Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and has technical experience as a software engineer and project manager at the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory.

Oberste, who has served as the UA-PTC's chair of communication since May 2014, previously worked as academic dean, regional trainer and faculty member at the University of Phoenix. 

Wallace has served as UA-PTC's vice chancellor for economic development since January 2013. He served as academic administrator at Arkansas State University-Newport for six years before joining UA-PTC, and worked in transportation before that.

Campbell was previously an academic and student affairs specialist at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Before his position at ADHE, he served for over 10 years at ASU-Mountain Home, most recently as director of student support services.

 

 

Please read our comments policy before commenting.