Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, named a new dean for the Graduate School and another new dean for one of the university’s four colleges during a Thursday morning news conference.
Dr. Mark Bannister, who has filled multiple roles during his years at the university, most recently as chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications, will serve as dean of the College of Business and Leadership. Dr. Tim Crowley, former chair of the Department of Music and currently interim dean of the Graduate School and assistant provost for internationalization, now becomes the permanent dean.
"We are very pleased with the qualifications of these two new deans," President Hammond said. "In addition to his most recent role as a department chair, Mark previously served as head of the Docking Institute and as the university's general counsel, so I'm personally aware of his outstanding abilities. Likewise, Tim has already demonstrated his considerable talents in the interim role, so we know he will hit the ground running as permanent dean."
The president thanked the members of the two search committees and said he was not at all surprised that Bannister and Crowley emerged as the best candidates in the nationwide search processes. "Mark and Tim are part of the FHSU family, so these selections show what a 'strong bench' we have," he said.
"I arrived on the FHSU campus as a professional in 1992, and even after my 17 years of teaching and service, I am amazed at the range of excellent opportunities this university provides both undergraduate and graduate students," Bannister said. "I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the College of Business and Leadership. Its three departments: Economics Finance, and Accounting; Management and Marketing; and Informatics are all high-caliber organizations with successful alumni serving businesses and other organizations in Kansas, the United States and organizations around the globe."
Bannister said that in taking on his new role, he would have the opportunity to work with three very large departments with multiple programs. "These departments are providing top quality education on campus and are educating students through distance learning programs nationally and internationally," he said. "The faculty members of these departments exemplify the best in higher education. They are outstanding teachers, active and respected scholars, and they are willing to provide service to FHSU, to Kansas, and to their respective disciplines. They are creating the business, media and information technology leaders of tomorrow."
Crowley said he was pleased and humbled to follow in the footsteps of excellent graduate deans and respected teacher/scholars such as Drs. Steve Trout, Tom Jackson and Jim Forsythe. "I have thoroughly enjoyed the 'on the job training' over the past two years in promoting the interests of graduate education, research/creative activities and internationalization. It has been rewarding to learn about how graduate education occurs and the nature of disciplinary research in each of the 20 graduate programs on our campus. My family and I have enjoyed being part of the Hays and Tiger community for the past nine years and look forward to spending many more good years here. I will place high expectations upon myself to provide effective leadership and do all I can to bring all three areas to their next level of development."
Deans at FHSU report directly to the provost, Dr. Larry Gould, who is the university's chief academic officer. Gould joined President Hammond in welcoming Bannister and Crowley to their new posts.
"In a world where higher education is being changed by economics, technology, demographics and global issues, institutions of learning are in need of faculty and staff who can stretch tradition, break new ground, see new worlds and manage continual change," Provost Gould said. "I believe that the forward thinking, entrepreneurial culture of FHSU helps shape and mold this type of leader. Tim and Mark are products of this organizational environment, and this experience is in large part responsible for helping them to emerge from the well-qualified pool of candidates identified in each of the searches. It only makes sense that they are ready to take their units to the next level in entrepreneurial activity and enable faculty and students to meet and exceed the demands of mission-driven, market-smart global higher education."
During Bannister's tenure as chair of INT, the department was accredited as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and it also was recognized in 2008 as the Undergraduate Program of the Year by the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association. When he became chair, the department enrolled 58 undergraduate students. As of fall 2008, it enrolled more than 350 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students, including more than 40 students in China. It has forged partnerships with Cisco, the U.S. Navy and international institutions.
As director of the Information Enterprise Institute, Bannister directs the Kansas Cisco Networking Academy System of more than 30 local academies. As senior policy fellow in the Docking Institute of Public Affairs, Bannister is nationally known for his work with rural telecommunications and economic development.
Bannister earned a juris doctorate in 1988 and a master's degree in communication studies in 1990, both from the University of Kansas He earned a bachelor's degree in communication in 1985 from FHSU, where he was student body president and winner of the Torch Award. He also received the 2009 Pilot Award for outstanding teaching.
Prior to joining the FHSU faculty, Bannister was chief of staff for the president of the Kansas Senate and associate general counsel for the Kansas Board of Regents.
Dr. Tim Crowley earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from Bradley University in 1990. He also earned a Master of Music Degree in Composition in 1993 and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition in 1995, both from the University of North Texas.
He joined the FHSU faculty on July 1, 2000, in the Department of Music, where he has held the rank of professor since 2005. He was chair of the department from 2000 to 2005, and he was appointed as interim dean of the Graduate School and assistant provost for internationalization in 2007.
Before coming to FHSU, he was an assistant professor and then chair of the Department of Music at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. Crowley has written 28 original music compositions for various media and has won numerous professional honors. He received a Kansas Arts Commission mini-fellowship for composition in 2002, the FHSU Teaching Innovation Award in 2002, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Standard Award from 1996 through 2007, a Toulouse Graduate School Doctoral Fellowship for 1994-1995 and the award for Outstanding Composition by a graduate student from North Texas in 1993 and 1995.
In addition to introducing the two new deans, the president announced a change in another key position. "I have appointed Lisa Karlin to the post of Equal Employment Opportunity officer, effective immediately," he said. "She will oversee the unclassified search process and handle EEO-related issues. Heather Munsch, in my office, will provide administrative support for the search process and the production of the necessary reports."
Karlin, who has served as assistant to the president since 1997, will continue in that role in addition to her EEO duties. She has been at FHSU since 1992, previously serving as assistant director of the Alumni Association.
Finally, President Hammond announced name changes for two academic departments at the university.
The Department of Informatics replaces the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications, and with Bannister's promotion to dean, Assistant Professor Stephen Schleicher has been appointed interim chair of the re-named department.
"Department of Informatics more accurately reflects exactly what the department does," President Hammond said. "Interim Chair Schleicher has described the name change as a sort of groundswell from within the department. During the first departmental meeting of the Fall 2008 term, faculty suggested the name change and after some discussion, it was agreed the name change reflected the ideals of this growing department and would once again show that FHSU can adapt to meet the changes occurring in the technology and business fields. The faculty have adapted their courses over the years to reflect these changes, so the only thing left to make the transition complete was to change the department name."
Looking back in history, the Radio/Television/Film Program began pushing the idea of media convergence as early as 1995, exploring how the combination of radio, television, computers and telephone networks would shape the way businesses and individuals would communication in a more effective manner. As the last few years have shown, that convergence is nearly complete. When the department became Information Networking and Telecommunications, it implied a heavy emphasis on the computer networking and telephony side of the industry. With the addition of Management Information Systems into the department in 2008 and moving the department into the College of Business, the shift in focus to informatics seemed quite natural.
"The Department of Informatics focuses on information processing as it applies to computer networking, Web development, media studies and management information systems and the relationship between technology and its use in real-world settings," the president explained. "Through the courses taught in the Department of Informatics, students will continue to take a hands-on approach to the technical design of information, while understanding the cultural, social, and organizational implications of its use."
He also announced the creation of the Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting within the College of Business. The newly named department results from the merger of the former Department of Accounting and Information Systems with the Department of Economics and Finance.