Potter College acquires new dean

Dr. Larry Snyder will resign as dean of Potter College effective March 27, 2019, according to an email sent by Provost Terry Ballman on Tuesday. Gabriel Scarlett/HERALD

Monica Kast

Larry Snyder, who was serving as the interim dean of the Potter College of Arts and Letters, has been named dean of the Potter College by university provost and vice president of Academic Affairs David Lee.

Lee said Snyder’s appointment concluded an approximately five-month national search that began in October and attracted over 50 applicants.

Lee was the former dean of Potter College before he accepted the provost position last semester. He said that a search committee made up of faculty members conducted the process of selecting a new dean and that Snyder came highly recommended by faculty in Potter College.

“He knows the Potter College very well,” Lee said. “He’s worked in the dean’s office for more than a decade.”

Lee added Snyder “just brings a long list of skills that will benefit Potter College.”

Previously, Snyder has worked as an assistant dean, interim assistant provost and department head in the Potter College. His former position of assistant dean is now held by Andrew McMichael.

Snyder has been a professor in the department of religion and philosophy at WKU since 1990, focusing mainly on American history of Christianity. Snyder also won the University Teaching Award for the 1996-1997 academic year.

Lee said this “pertinent, valuable experience” helped Snyder stand out from other candidates.

“I am genuinely humbled and honored by this appointment,” Snyder said in a press release announcing his appointment. “Potter College has been home for most of my academic career. It was -— and remains — a great place to work and study, one filled with talented students and a gifted faculty.”

Snyder said that the dean’s office of Potter College is a very “collaborative office and approach to leadership.”

“In a lot of ways, I will continue doing what I’ve been doing as an interim dean,” Snyder said. “We have a number of initiatives that we want to start as a college over the next year. We will start a very strategic planning process.”

Snyder has plans for two initiatives that he wants to start within the Potter College. One is a “diversity task force” that will focus on minority students and faculty as well as focusing on “minority needs, minority recruitment and retention.” His other initiative is to “find a more effective way to connect with alumni.”

“We feel that what we do here is very important,” Snyder said. “We also have a very strong sense of mission, and we’re committed to the notion that we are a public university for the public good. We will continue advocating long and hard for the importance of arts and sciences within the university education.”