Dr. Paul Flowers will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 2007-08, according to an announcement by Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for the Office of Academic Affairs at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Dr. Thomas Leach, six-year dean and faculty member since 1975, will retire effective June 30. Before being named the colleges’ second dean, he was chair of the Department of English, Theatre and Languages for more than 20 years.
The University will conduct a nationwide search for Dean Leach’s replacement.
“I am very grateful to Dr. Flowers for his willingness to lead the College during the coming year,” Dr. Harrington said. “Paul has proven himself a truly remarkable member of the senior faculty and a very capable administrator.
“He will undoubtedly be instrumental in moving the College forward as we conduct a national search for a permanent dean,” he continued. “Paul knows the College faculty and curriculum well and will be able to position the school for the coming transition to new leadership. I am looking forward to working with Paul in his new role.”
Dr. Flowers, who is chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, will return to teaching at the end of the year.
“One of my most important responsibilities will be to assist in the search for a permanent replacement for Dean Leach,” Dr. Flowers said. “I look forward to serving a University that I love in the coming year through my appointment as acting Dean, and I also look forward to returning to full-time faculty status in 2008.”
The role of the dean of the College is to provide oversight for its departments and faculty and to promote the programs of UNCP’s largest academic unit. Dr. Flowers will face many challenges in 2007-08 including the completion and occupation of the new O.R. Sampson Academic Building.
“We will move into the first new academic building constructed on campus since 1980,” he said. “We will also begin planning for an allied health building next year.”
Dr. Flowers will retain an office in the Oxendine Science Building and teach one class. He will hand off directing a National Institute of Health (NIH) undergraduate research grant, and he will continue his work in student research with a five-year National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant to develop methods for the measurement of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“As an analytical chemist, my research concentration is focused on developing tools for environmental testing,” Dr. Flowers said. “Experimental research with undergraduate assistants is what I especially enjoy.”
Dr. Flowers has experience in administering one of UNCP’s largest departments for the past three years.
“I hope my experience in chairing the Department of Chemistry and Physics will prove useful in the coming year,” he said. “During the past three years, our department has experienced considerable change, including the reoccupation of a renovated and expanded building and the addition of four new faculty.”
Dr. Thomas Dooling will assume the position of department chair on July 1 of this year.
“I am certain Dr. Dooling will do an outstanding job as chair, and I look forward to working under his leadership upon my return to the department.”