Dear UIndy colleagues,
It is with mixed feelings that I announce to you that Dr. Debra Feakes, Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences has been appointed as Dean of the College of Art & Sciences at Texas A&M University at San Antonio. Consequently, Debra will be leaving us on August 14, 2020.
During the last two years, Dr. Feakes has played an important role in the advancement of UIndy. Upon her hiring in July 2018, she joined the Academic Master Plan Steering Committee in the development of the intellectual life vision and path for the university. She brought to the team a wealth of knowledge and experience. As Dean, she contributed significantly to the work of the Provost’s Council and worked with the Shaheen College in creating a process to facilitate the development of strategic plans at the departmental/school and college levels. Consequently, each department and school in the Shaheen College now has a strategic plan and the College has adopted five strategic goals. She was a strong advocate for the College, and at the same time a great team player at the Provost’s Council level. Since January 2020, she has taken direct responsibility for leading the R. B. Annis School of Engineering. Dr. Feakes put in place a process by which students and faculty can apply for Shaheen Grants and hosted the first Shaheen College Colloquium. She is leaving as a valued colleague, and I am grateful for all her contributions to UIndy.
I have asked Associate Provost, Dr. Mary Moore to assume the role of Interim Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences effective August 14, 2020 at the close of business for a year. As you know, Dr. Moore served as Dean for the college previously, is exceptionally capable, and is prepared to take on this responsibility at a time when all institutions of higher education are dealing with the challenges precipitated by COVID-19.
Providing leadership for the College is significant responsibility hence the University has developed multiple ways to support Mary during this transition. First, I am very pleased that Dr. Travis Miller and Dr. Brenda Clark have agreed to remain as Senior Associate Dean, and Assistant Dean, respectively, in the College. And, I am hopeful that a new Associated Dean for the R.B Annis School of Engineering will be in place by the Fall Semester. Secondly, I have created the Provost Fellowships to help develop new academic leaders. These fellowships will rotate among Colleges/Schools with the Shaheen College of Arts and Science being the first College to test them in light of where we find ourselves. These additional resources will be very helpful in enabling Mary to devote the necessary and optimum time and efforts to the College.
Please join me in extending thanks and appreciation to Dr. Feakes for her all contributions to UIndy and wishing her the very best in her new role as Dean at Texas A&M University at San Antonio.
Stephen H. Kolison Jr., PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost
Professor of Biology