HAYS, KS -- Dr. Paul Faber, who had served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on an interim basis for more than a year, was introduced at a news conference this morning as Fort Hays State University's choice to fill the position permanently.
"There were many highly qualified applicants for dean of the College of Arts and Sciences," said Dr. Tom Jackson, dean of graduate studies and research/vice provost -- and the chair of the search committee. "The members of the committee did an outstanding job reviewing all applications. From these applications, Dr. Faber was the unanimous choice of the search committee."
Dr. Larry Gould, FHSU provost, said he was delighted that Paul Faber had officially agreed to assume the role of dean. "We have worked together as faculty members, administrators, friends and colleagues since the early 1980s," Gould said. "Because of that history, I have no doubt he understands the importance of blending leadership, accountability and innovation in a constantly changing higher education environment."
The provost said Faber's academic background would be equally as important in equipping him to be an effective dean. "Paul's training as a philosopher assures me he understands the moral dimensions of academic administration. This combination of talent and intellect means the College of Arts and Sciences is in good hands as we continue to move into a world of e-education combined with the age-old traditions of the academy."
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, introduced the new dean. "Dr. Faber has impeccable academic credentials and a distinguished record of service to our university," the president said. "I know that Paul and his wife, Jacinta, would mention their three children -- Jenny, Ben and Xan -- as perhaps their three finest accomplishments, but he has other accomplishments as well.
"Dean Faber received undergraduate degrees in philosophy and English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and he earned graduate degrees in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.
"He has been an assistant professor, associate professor, and a full professor of philosophy at Fort Hays State, and he chaired the Department of Philosophy from 1990 until he agreed to serve as interim dean in March 2000.
"He has scholarly expertise in ethics and the philosophy of religion. In addition to teaching classes on campus, he developed two of the classes taught through our Virtual College and also taught two other Virtual College classes that were authored by his colleagues in the Philosophy Department.
"Paul also has served as president of Faculty Senate, and he served as director of the Kansas Regents Honors Academy in 1993 and 1999.
"I'm pleased to introduce Dr. Paul Faber as our new dean," President Hammond concluded. "I have great confidence in his ability to guide our College of Arts and Sciences into an even brighter future."
Faber thanked Hammond, Gould and Jackson for the kind things they said in introducing him as the new dean. "More importantly," he added, "I thank you and the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences for the confidence that you have shown in me by making this appointment."
"Serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is an awesome responsibility, for the college performs brain surgery everyday," Faber continued. "Or, to put it more accurately, we perform 'mind surgery' everyday. We try to open up minds to see what they could not see before and hear what they could not hear before. We want our students to see where they have been and where they can go. We want them to hear both the cries and the songs of those they have not heard before. In short, we want our students to understand -- to understand themselves, humankind, and the rich context within which we live.
"Not only do we perform brain surgery, but we perform hand surgery. That is, we try to help students develop skills, skills they will need if they are to serve others and build meaningful and purposeful lives for themselves. We try to help students operate for themselves.
"And if that is not ambition enough, the College of Arts and Sciences strives to perform heart surgery, too. We want our students to develop strong hearts, values and dispositions to action that will enable them to live a life of learning and of service to others, despite the hills they may have to climb to do so."
Faber concluded: "With God's help, the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, the families of students, and the larger communities within which we live will join with our students in developing understanding minds, skillful hands, and strong hearts. So let's get on with it."