After two successful internal searches and two retirements in the Division of Academic Affairs, Provost James C. Renick has announced new appointments and realignment within the division.
Thomas C. Calhoun, Ph.D., a professor and former interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, has been appointed associate vice president of Academic Affairs, pending approval by the Mississippi Board of Trustees for State Institutions of Higher Learning.
Renick also announced Robert Blaine, DMA, a professor of music and former interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, has been appointed special assistant to the provost for Cyberlearning.
The retirement of Johnnie Mills-Jones, Ph.D., assistant provost for Extended Learning, and Della Posey, Ph.D., executive director for Distance Learning, led to the realignment of the School of Lifelong Learning and Distance Learning. Leadership of the Evening & Weekend College will be added to the portfolio of Nicole Evans, Ph.D., assistant provost for Institutional Research, Planning and Enrollment Management. Additionally, the School of Lifelong Learning will be relocated to the College of Education and Human Development.
Debra Buchanan, Ed.D., formerly director of the Richard Wright Writing Center, will lead the university’s distance learning initiatives. The Richard Wright Center will be housed in the College of Liberal Arts.
“I believe these new appointments and realignment will allow Academic Affairs to provide expanded services to the campus and beyond. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming these very competent professionals to their new roles,” Renick said.Renick also noted the hiring of Judy Qualls as the coordinator of Jackson State University’s new Madison location. Qualls works directly with faculty and students to ensure smooth delivery of services in Madison County, one of the fastest-growing regions in Mississippi.
“All of these changes align nicely with the talents of the individuals involved and our strategic direction,” Renick said. “President Meyers wants us to respond forcefully in meeting the growing educational needs of the state and the region.”
Calhoun said he’s looking forward to his new role.
“I welcome the opportunity to continue collaborating with faculty, staff and students as we offer our students a quality education that encompasses innovation and civic responsibility,” Calhoun said.
Earlier this year, Blaine was named an Apple Distinguished Educator and he had a leading role in the university’s Cyberlearning Summit held in April. Blaine said his new appointment is an honor.
“JSU’s iPad scholarship and the recent Cyberlearning Summit show the university is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology in the classroom. It’s a privilege to be given this new responsibility, and I am excited about the development of new, innovative ways to educate our students,” said Blaine.