By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Two candidates are in the interview process to be Dean of the new College of Education and Health Services, which will open next fall and become the university’s second largest college.
Dr. Donnie Snider, associate professor of education, and Dr. MaLesa Breeding, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, both applied for the position and were chosen as finalists.
Dr. Jerry Whitworth, chair of the Department of Education, was also a finalist for the position, but withdrew his name for consideration after accepting a job at Texas Woman’s University beginning this fall.
“Given the quality and quantity of the applicant pool for the position of Dean of CEHS, both within and outside the university, I was pleasantly surprised and humbled by the nomination,” Snider said in an e-mail.
Breeding said in an e-mail that she is honored to be a finalist for the position, especially to be in the company of Snider and Whitworth.
“As department chair, I have learned to love administration,” Breeding said. “It is a way to lead and serve and to have an even larger influence on preparing students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”
Breeding and Snider are now each going through a five-step interview process, participating in a presentation and question session on their vision and goals for the new college; a conversation time with faculty and staff for in-depth questioning about the dean’s position; an interview with Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, provost of the university; an interview with Dr. Royce Money, president of the university; and a one-hour interview with the nomination committee.
The College of Education and Health Services will contain the departments of Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Exercise Science and Sociology and Social Work, as well as the new Higher Education Student Affairs degree, the Graduate Education program and TRIO services.
Snider has 20 years of public school administrative experience and 10 additional years in public school education, in total serving as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. He recently retired from public education but said he wanted to continue his career at a Christian university.
“My 20 years of public school administrative experience, if selected by the university, could bring valuable experience to the new dean position,” Snider said.
He said that, to his knowledge, the nomination committee, headed by Dr. Carol Williams, dean of the Graduate School, will make a recommendation to VanRheenen and Money by May 10 at the latest. He said he does not know whether the decision will be made before then.
“I feel honored and humbled to be a finalist for such am important administrative position,” Snider said. “Whoever they select as the inaugural Dean for the College of Education and Human Services, it will bring a new day in the history of ACU.
“Hopefully, the new college structure will provide new learning opportunities for students, new teaching opportunities for faculty and staff and move ACU forward with its mission of providing Christian leadership throughout the world.”