Fifth dean to be replaced at WKU in 2017-2018

In an email sent out to WKU faculty and staff Monday night, Provost David Lee announced that Scott Lyons, the current Graduate School Dean, had submitted his resignation for his position, making him the fifth school official to leave or be eliminated from a dean position at WKU in the past year. This isn’t anything new when it comes to changes that both large and small academic institutes face on an annual basis, though.

"You get an organization, especially the size of WKU, there are always going to be changes as people either retire or move to different jobs, move up the ladder in their fields," said WKU Media Relations Director Bob Skipper.

Here is the list of deans who are either leaving WKU or having their position eliminated

  • Scott Lyons, Graduate School Dean – resigning from current role; reasoning unknown
  • Dennis George, University College Dean – position is being eliminated June 30 and its departments reorganized
  • Neale Chumbler, Dean of College of Health and Human Services – accepted new job at the University of North Texas as Dean of the College of Health and Public Service, effective July 1
  • Sam Evans, Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences – retiring on June 30
  • Jeffrey Katz, Dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business – resigning from position June 30; will continue teaching in college’s management department

Skipper says there are both pros and cons when it comes to having to find replacements for these vacant positions.

"One thing this does for us, it allows us to bring in people with expertise and different view points that they might be able to bring to the university and help us moving forward," he said. "Well you lose some of that institutional memory. How things have been done, what are some of the things to deal with, what are some of the things to avoid. Those relationships that sometimes help programs along that you develop over the years. Those are some of the things that you can lose."

Despite these changes, Skipper said he doesn’t expect many problems to arise from these losses.

"There shouldn’t be that much of an impact," he said. "We have interims in place, or will have when they leave. There will be some continuity of leadership until we get a new person in place."

Associate Provost Cheryl Davis will assume the position of interim Dean of the Graduate School on July 1, but it has yet to be announced who will fill the other vacant dean positions.