Three new deans snatched permanent seats at UM, filling multiple vacant positions and forwarding an effort to hire longterm faculty leaders. Dr. Tim Nichols will be leading the Davidson Honors College, Dr. Thomas Gallagher will be leading Missoula College, and Dr. Adrea Lawrence will be leading the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education.
Four dean positions are currently held by interim leadership, according to the provost’s website. Lawrence is the only permanent female dean at the University, after the former dean of libraries, Shali Zhang, left last spring semester.
“I appreciate the opportunity to lead one of the best education colleges in the Pacific Northwest,” Lawrence said in a press release. “This is a college with a history of excellence, we just completed another amazing expansion to our building, and we have some exciting things planned for the future.”
According to a UM news release, Lawrence’s top three priorities as dean are to increase support for early childhood education, help future educators excel at online and face-to-face education, and to expand the use of technology for students in the classroom, such as videoconferencing, virtual reality and robots.
Nichols began working with the Davidson Honors College in July. He comes from the University of Wyoming, where he taught honors classes. Nichols also led the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College at South Dakota State University from 2009 to 2016.
In a press release, Nichols wrote, “I am thrilled to be named dean of the Davidson Honors College and look forward to working with its students, faculty, staff — and partners across the University, community and country — to build on its strong foundation for an even brighter future.”
Gallagher began his duties as dean of the Missoula College in May and has been a UM faculty member since 2001. He has served as associate dean, director for the Information Technology degree program, director for the Missoula College Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense, president of the Missoula College Faculty Association and chair of the Department of Applied Computing and Engineering Technology, a UM news release said.
“The focus at Missoula College has always been serving students and the local community,” Gallagher said in the release. “I look forward to continuing to work with the energetic team of faculty and staff in place. We are well-poised to further the comprehensive mission assigned to twoyear colleges in serving our community.”
UM’s website has the complete list of both permanent and interim deans.
Dr. John DeBoer will work as interim dean for the College of Arts and Media. DeBoer headed the College of Visual and Performing Arts as interim dean last year before the program merged with the School of Journalism beginning fall semester.
The position for the dean of libraries was filled by Barry Brown at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. Other interim deans include Jenny McNulty at the College of Humanities and Sciences, Nathan Lindsay at the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning and Suzanne Tilleman at the College of Business.