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Four Finalists for Dean of College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication to Visit SHSU

Four candidates being considered for the dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication will visit Sam Houston State University for on-campus interviews over the next three weeks.

Each candidate will give a presentation to faculty and staff and visit with committee members, administration officials, COFAMC faculty chairs, staff and community members over two-day periods.

The four finalists for the dean position are Joseph Kline, dean of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University; Gary Mortenson, director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Kansas State University; Mary Robbins, interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at SHSU; and Ronald Shields, professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University.

John de Castro, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and search committee chair, said the committee is looking forward to the next stage of the search for a new dean.

“We received over 60 applications from well qualified applicants and interviewed 10 candidates at a neutral site,” de Castro said. “From these the search committee has identified four outstanding finalists. We are truly excited to introduce these remarkable leaders to the SHSU campus and community.”

The first candidate arrives Thursday. The second candidate is scheduled to be on campus April 15-16, the third on April 18-19, and the fourth on April 22-23.

The presentations to faculty and staff are scheduled for each candidate’s first day at 3:45 p.m. in CHSS 140.

“The on-campus interviews allow the students, faculty, staff and community to get to know each candidate and evaluate his or her fit with the culture and vision for the future of the College,” de Castro said. “The committee welcomes input from all stakeholders as it reaches the final stages of the search.”

Shields has a Bachelor of Arts degree in oral interpretation from Bob Jones University, a Master of Arts degree in dramatic production from Bob Jones University, and a Ph.D. in Speech from Louisiana State University. He previously held the position of chair of the department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University.

Robbins has a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Georgia College, a Master of Education degree in reading from Mississippi State University, and an Ed.D. in reading from Texas Woman’s University. Prior to her position as the interim dean, she served as department chair for Language, Literacy and Special Populations at the College of Education at SHSU.

Mortenson holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Augustana College, a master’s degree in music from Ithaca College, and a DMA from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously served as the head of the department of music at KSU.

Kline holds an undergraduate degree in performing arts from Colorado State University, an Master of Fine Arts degree in drama from the Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary fine arts from Texas Tech University. Prior to his position at ENMU, he served as department chair at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at SHSU houses the departments of art, dance, mass communication, theatre and musical theatre, and the school of music.

For more than 130 years, Sam Houston State University has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement and today, with over 18,000 students, SHSU is a modern comprehensive campus with technology resources that prepare graduates for a wide variety of successful careers.


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