University announces appointment of interim deans
Western Carolina University will welcome three new interim deans, effective July 1.
Announcement of the appointments was made Monday, May 14, by Beth Tyson Lofquist, interim provost at WCU, who will be retiring July 31 as a new provost is coming on board.
Angela Laird Brenton, dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been appointed provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Western Carolina, effective Aug. 1.
The interim deans will provide leadership in their respective academics units during the period of transition. “The beginning of the process of hiring of permanent deans will be one of the top priorities for Angi Brenton when she arrives later this summer,” Lofquist said.
Dale Carpenter, professor of special education, will serve as interim dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions. Carpenter, a member of the WCU faculty since 1979, is filling a vacancy created by the departure of Perry Schoon, who will become dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University, Schoon’s alma mater.
Mimi Fenton, professor of English, will serve as interim dean of the Graduate School and Research. A member of the WCU faculty since 1992, Fenton will guide WCU’s graduate programs and research activities upon the retirement of Scott Higgins, who is stepping down in June after 31 years, including the past seven as dean.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, Richard Starnes, associate professor and head of the Department of History, will assume the role of interim dean. Starnes will take over from Gibbs Knotts, professor of political science and public affairs, who will become head of the political science program at the College of Charleston.
Also serving in interim leadership roles at WCU are James Zhang, interim dean of the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology, and Regis Gilman, interim dean of the Division of Educational Outreach.