Dr. Paul Hankins, professor and chair of the Department of Music in the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, will become the new dean of the College of Communication, Languages Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, effective July 1.
Hankins also served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for four years prior to his appointment to his current position. As interim dean, Hankins oversaw the development and launch of new undergraduate degree programs, reorganized the university’s Honor Program and oversaw the merger and reorganization of academic departments.
In his new position, Hankins will oversee multiple academic departments at UAFS, including the departments of art, behavioral sciences, criminal justice, communication, English, geography, graphic design, history, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, theatre, and world languages.
“I am pleased and excited to join the faculty and staff at UAFS and to be a part of the new College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences,” Hankins said. “This is a unique opportunity for all of us to create a vision and direction for the future of the College of CLASS at UAFS. I look forward to working with all my new colleagues.”
Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, expressed confidence in Hankins’ ability to lead the college.
“We are fortunate to be able to hire someone like Dr. Hankins who has experience as a dean,” Hale said. “Dr. Hankins has been successful leading a college similar in size and makeup of the College of CLASS. This experience will be valuable as he works with his department heads and faculty to set the strategic direction of the college.”
Hankins began his academic career at Augustana College as an assistant professor of music before going to DSU in 1999 to become an associate professor of music. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from West Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in music education from the University of North Texas, and a doctorate in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois.
The College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences, a new academic college at the university, is a result of the merging of two previous colleges -- the College of Languages and Communication and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The university consolidated the colleges to more tightly focus its academic offerings.
Hankins will replace Dr. Robert Willoughby, who served as interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Joe Hardin, who stepped down as dean of the College of Languages and Communication to return to the classroom as a full-time professor of English.