Two ACU deans are resigning from their positions at the end of the academic year.
Dr. Charles Mattis, dean of College of Arts and Sciences, is leaving the university to open a dental practice,Â and Dr. Jack Reese, dean of Biblical studies, will fill a different role at the university.
“I just wanted to do some different things,” Mattis said. “I’ve invested a lot of my life here, but I’m ready to do something different.”
Before taking the role of dean of college of arts and sciences, Mattis served as the dean for the First Year Program for seven years. He has been with the university 17 years.
“I hadn’t dreamed that when I came here I’d be a dean someday,” Mattis said.
Mattis originally came to ACU to teach biology. He continued his dental practice while he was a faculty member.
“The more and more I got into administration, the less I was able to practice,” Mattis said.
Reese has been with the university since 1988 and completes his 15th year as dean of biblical studies in May. The university commissioned Reese to write a book regarding the university’s identity and mission, and how to move forward with them in mind. He will begin that project when his role as dean ends.
“Perhaps it goes without saying, 15 years is a long time to have served as dean,” Reese said in an email addressing faculty. “I have been given the privilege of serving this university and especially this college in important work, kingdom work.”
Reese said ACU is well positioned for this shift to take place.
“For many reasons, this is the right time for me to transition to other responsibilities,” Reese said. “I want more time to write, more time to compose music, more time to teach and to engage in ministry which, after all, is my primary identity commitment.”
Dr. Greg Straughn, interim provost, appreciates the roles Mattis and Reese have filled at the university.
“I just appreciate the work that Dr. Mattis and Dr. Reese have done so much, especially in the last few years during the changes of the provost and president,” Straughn said. ” They’ve been terrific partners and I look forward to seeing the great things that they’re going to continue to do.”
Interim deans will fill the roles during the 2012-13 academic year. They plan to take a year to select replacements.
“I value the search process a lot,” Straughn said. “I think it brings the best out in candidates and it brings us candidates that we didn’t know existed.”
Straughn believes ACU faculty as well as individuals from other universities will be interested in the position.