CLASS appoints new dean

Tayler Critchlow

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University appointed Interim Dean Curtis Ricker to dean this past Monday.

Ricker agreed to be an interim dean for two years in July 2012 after then-dean Mike Smith became an associate provost.

“When they asked me to serve as interim it was for last year and this year as interim because this would have been the year they do the search. But the provost and the president met with the college about a month ago now in a meeting and there was strong support to not do a search but rather just do a direct appointment,” Ricker said.

Interims are used when the notification of a vacating position is delivered during an inconvenient time of the year or when there is not enough time left in the year to conduct a search.

In the case of Ricker, Smith accepted the new position in the spring and most searches begin in the fall.

Ricker has various goals set during his time as dean.

A major thrust for the whole university is the entering of a capital campaign where the deans will have a large responsibility in raising external monies, Ricker said.

“Our college has set a very lofty goal of close to ten million in a ten-year period. We have ambitious goals, because when we look at our college we see that we have a very critical need to support student scholarships and study abroad particularly,” Ricker said.

The funding model for the university is facing a shift and Ricker will need to help see the college through the transition, Ricker said.

Maintaining the balance between emphasizing “excellent teaching” while also raising the research profile of the university and college is a main focus as well, Ricker said.

This will be Ricker’s 30th year at GSU and he has worked as associate dean since 1998, working under six deans. While associate dean, he served as temporary department chair to three departments before becoming interim dean.

Ricker said, “I know I’m biased, but I do think we have the best college in the university. It’s just to me a very exciting time, Georgia Southern’s been very good to me, I’ve had lots of opportunities here and have enjoyed those opportunities, so it’s a great time to be here.”