As part of the College of Arts and Sciences 10-year anniversary, former deans Dr. Don Ramage, Dr. Richard Fallis, Dr. Larry Hall and Dr. Mike Pinter served on a panel and answered faculty-submitted questions on Thursday.
Each man shared his greatest accomplishments as dean. Dr. Ramage, who served as dean of the School of Sciences from 1983-1998 and as dean of both the School of Sciences and the School of Humanities/Education in 1994-95, said fathering the Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium was his greatest accomplishment. He added that one of his proudest moments was when the faculty approved the physical therapy and occupational therapy programs.
Dr. Fallis, the inaugural dean of CAS from 1999-2001, said launching the College of Arts and Sciences was his greatest achievement because “we started from scratch.” He highlighted Belmont’s “special energy” and the faculty’s willingness to try something new.
Dr. Hall, dean of CAS from 2001-2007, was most proud of the quality of people CAS was able to hire and the nature of the college. He noted, “CAS kept up with Belmont’s growth and even grew faster.”
Dr. Pinter, who has served as interim dean of the School of Sciences in 1998 and as interim dean of CAS in summer of 2001 and during the 2007-2008 school year, listed keeping things moving as smoothly as possible, quickly addressing issues, paying attention to the staff and hiring Lisa McGuire as his greatest achievements.
Other panel highlights include Dr. Ramage’s warning to prospective deans that they will actually make less money per hour as dean than as professors. Dr. Ramage also noted how vastly different the Belmont student body is. In the seventies, students were from more rural areas, were quieter and were generally sent to Belmont through their churches. He said the new student body is “much improved.” Finally, Dr. Ramage advised CAS faculty to compliment their deans and department chairs because “we never heard anything but complaints.”
Dr. Fallis continually mentioned Belmont’s unique environment and community. He said, “The sense of cooperation and community was different at Belmont than at any other higher education institute.” He also noted that being dean is an excellent opportunity for lifetime learning.
Dr. Hall warned prospective deans that they would have to give up teaching. He lamented, “I won a faculty award only to be told, ‘Okay, you’re never going to teach again.’” When asked about Belmont’s growth, Dr. Hall said, “Growth is not a problem as long as a place knows who they are and what they value.”
Dr. Pinter advised prospective deans to develop a close circle of friends and colleagues to help make decisions. In the midst of Belmont’s growth, he advised faculty to “constantly pay attention to the quality of relationships we have here.”
The panel concluded as each former dean was presented with an Advocatus Artium Liberalium award for their “exemplary advocacy of the liberal arts and sciences.” Other events celebrating the CAS 10th Anniversary included the Simmons Distinguished Faculty Lecture by Dr. James Wells, a convocation presentation by Dr. Fallis on “What is the Future of the Liberal Arts?,” and a talk by Dr. Hall on “The Logic of the U.S. Constitution.”