Graduate Dean’s resignation marks fifth dean to be replaced

Nicole Ziege

WKU’s current Graduate Dean has submitted his resignation, making him the fifth university official at WKU to leave or be eliminated from a dean position in the 2017-2018 year.

Scott Lyons, current Graduate School dean, submitted his resignation to Provost David Lee, who announced the changes in an email to all faculty and staff on June 11.

“I’d like to thank Scott for his hard work on behalf of our graduate programs and the contributions he’s made to graduate education at WKU,” Lee said in the email.

Lyons’ resignation marks the fifth university official to leave or to be eliminated from a dean position at the university since fall 2017.

Dennis George, dean of University College, will lose his position as dean after the University College will be eliminated from the university and its departments reorganized, effective June 30.

Neale Chumbler, former dean of the College of Health and Human Services, accepted a new position as Dean of the College of Health and Public Service at the University of North Texas. Chumbler’s appointment will take effect on July 1.

Sam Evans, former dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, will officially retire on June 30. There is an ongoing search for his replacement.

Jeffrey Katz, former dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business, will resign as dean, effective June 30, after working as dean for nearly seven years. He will continue to teach in the college’s management department after he leaves his position, and an interim dean will take over the college until his replacement is chosen, according to a previous interview with Lee on Mar. 23, 2018.

In addition to losing deans at the university, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs David Lee announced his retirement, effective in July 2018. Terry Ballman, who is currently the dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University, San Bernardino, will begin as provost and vice president for academic affairs on Aug. 1.

Lee and President Timothy Caboni have not yet responded to comment on the increased number of deans who have left or been eliminated in the 2017-2018 year and how those position changes will impact the university.

Regarding Lyons’ resignation, Lee asked Associate Provost Cheryl Davis to assume the position of interim dean of the Graduate School at WKU. Davis is currently head of the Office of Research and Creative Activity.

“In the past, the university has occasionally placed graduate education and our research arm under a single administrator, so I think we can use that model again in this transition period,” Lee said in the email.

Davis will assume the interim dean role on July 1.

“I very much appreciate Cheryl’s willingness to assume this significant additional responsibility at this important time, and I’m confident that she’ll be very effective in the role,” Lee said in the email.

This is a developing story, so check back for updates.

Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @NicoleZiege.