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Evans Named as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

August 1, 2017

Dr. Johnny Evans was named as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  His new position took effect on July 1 due to the restructuring of the schools of study at ABAC.  He previously served as the Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics since 2013.

The School of Arts and Sciences will now house the departments of English and Communication, Fine Arts, History and Political Science, Science and Mathematics, and Rural Sociology.

The announcement one year ago regarding the consolidation of schools at ABAC was achieved on July 1, 2017. In the new structure all of the general education core curriculum courses are now offered through the School of Arts and Sciences. Previously, three schools and three Deans had oversight for these essential courses.

“Now with the consolidation into one school we needed an experienced Dean to lead and guide the programs,” said Dr. Jerry Baker, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.  “This consolidation will also merge the faculty and the cultures that have allowed the previous programs to be successful. The administration has confidence in Dr. Evans to administer this merger and help ABAC deliver a broad and diverse set of courses that will be taken by all students at ABAC regardless of their major.”

Evans says what is great about the new School of Arts and Sciences it that the entire core curriculum is located under one school.

“Because we offer the core curriculum within our school, we serve as the foundation of academic success for all ABAC students,” Evans said.  “Core curriculum develops critical thinking skills, writing and creativity.  And since all the core curriculum is under one umbrella we can streamline and improve core classes more easily.”

And although Evans’ main focus was solely on science and mathematics, he doesn’t have any trepidations when it comes to overseeing other areas of academia.

“I am a scientist, but I am an artist and musician at heart,” said Evans.  “I have a great team of department heads who will do a wonderful job for the School.  I am not concerned in the least.”

Evans doesn’t plan to make any changes just yet.  He refers to the School of Arts and Sciences as a well-oiled machine and he does not want to mess with that.

“I want to let the machine run and then make any improvements as needed,” said Evans.  ‘Since taking on the post of Dean I have learned how strong our faculty and department heads really are.  I have a great team to work with and a great group of peers.”

He took on this new role because he likes impacting the lives of his students and that is what he feels is his calling = being able to give them life-changing opportunities.  As Dean, he will have more opportunities to do just that.  Though he admits he won’t be in the classroom as much.

“I won’t be teaching this fall but I hope to teach in the coming semesters, even if it’s just one class,” Evans said.  “I love being in the classroom and will miss that environment.”

Once classes resume for fall, Evans thinks the transition will be a seamless one.

“Students won’t really feel the effect of the restructuring because all the department heads and faculty will be the same, as will the classes,” Evans said.  “We are simply combining the administration.”

Fall classes begin at ABAC on Aug. 16.
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