Jackson State University’s Division of Academic Affairs announces that Dr. Wilbur Walters has been named the new dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), effective July 1, and he has big plans for CSET’s current and future students.
His ideas include student town-hall meetings so they can share their opinions with faculty and staff for improving their academic experiences. Another big push will be to offer courses online for new and existing programs.
The announcement about Walter’s selection was made by Dr. Lynda Brown-Wright, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. She said the selection resulted after an exhaustive committee search that included co-chairs Dr. Ramzi Kafoury and Dr. Preselfannie McDaniels.
Walters said, “I don’t look at this new responsibility as just a role. Rather, for me, it’s a position of passion. At the end of the day, it’s all about our students.”
Furthermore, he said, “I’ve had a chance to serve as interim dean, so I see the vision of the (Dr. William B.) Bynum administration. Aligning with that, I have some great ideas for the college, and No. 1 is making sure our team within the college is all onboard and understands the direction we’re going.”“I’m looking at positive results in our enrollment, retention rates, graduation rates and placement of our students. We want to build a very robust, comprehensive experience for all our students in the college.” — Dr. Wilbur Walters, new dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology
JSU is a tradition for the Walters family. He, along with his parents, earned degrees from the HBCU. His bachelor’s degree (1995) is in physics. However, his master’s in materials science and engineering is from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering is from UAB and the University of Alabama.
In 2002, Walters returned to his alma mater as a JSU faculty member in physics and civil engineering. Eventually, he became interim and then chair of the physics department. From there, he would become associate dean of CSET, interim dean and now dean.
As for his other plans, Walters is laser-focused on helping students achieve career success.
“There are no limits as to what we can do in terms of impacting our students,” Walters said. “I’m looking at positive results in our enrollment, retention rates, graduation rates and placement of our students. We want to build a very robust, comprehensive experience for all our students in the college.”
Walters said CSET will support JSU’s mission by continuing to engage in partnerships with several companies and universities. He said he expects the effort to foster more faculty-student research and student academic interaction.
Moreover, he touts JSU’s successes with NASA’s Mentor-Protégé program and its virtual reality academy. He also expects Title III’s Student Success Plan will yield great results because its 24-hour advising model will ensure degree completion, he said.
“Ultimately, we want to train students for the next 10 years, especially with new tools and software changes. We want to develop young people who can think and use all the tools and strengths available to solve problems,” Walters said.