Dr. Ron W. Darbeau, dean of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and the School of Education, has been appointed to serve as the interim dean of the UAFS College of Health Sciences effective immediately.
Darbeau’s appointment was announced May 15 by Dr. Georgia Hale, UAFS provost, and Dr. Edward Serna, interim chancellor, following the retirement of Dr. Carolyn Mosley, who had served the College of Health Sciences since 2006.
A national search will be conducted to select the next permanent dean of the college, which serves nearly 1,000 students each semester in such fields as practical nursing, radiography, surgical technology, emergency medical technology, dental hygiene, imaging sciences management, diagnostic medical sonography, and nursing.
“I am honored to be entrusted with interim leadership of one of the most successful and best-run colleges, not just in the state, but in the nation,” said Darbeau. “Through their dedication and commitment to professional integrity and excellence, Dr. Carolyn Mosely and her colleagues have built the UAFS College of Health Sciences into a national powerhouse. They have placed their programs on the national scale and produced excellent professionals who positively impact health care in the River Valley and beyond. I intend to shepherd the college through this transition year with the same focus on quality and shared responsibility that defined Carolyn’s inimitable legacy and to help onboard a worthy successor for my friend and colleague.”
An experienced administrator and scholar, Dr. Darbeau has served as professor and dean of the College of STEM and School of Education at UAFS for four years. Prior to accepting this role, he enjoyed a 19-year career at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana – the last 12 of which, he served as professor and Chair of the department chemistry and physics. He is a Physical Organic Chemist who has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles in his field. In 1984, he earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry at the University of the West Indies in his native Trinidad, followed by his Master of Science and Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1992 and 1996, respectively.
Darbeau, a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, has presented at national and international conferences, won numerous awards for scholarship, teaching, and leadership, and serves on The Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education. He is a member of the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) group in Arkansas and Vice President of the Arkansas Deans’ Association, and has secured millions of dollars in funding for research, research training and infrastructure over his academic career.
The College of Health Sciences at UAFS has a long-standing history of offering quality, innovative programs in an atmosphere that is learner-centered and future-oriented. Degree programs share a common goal of integrating theory and technology in the classroom, laboratory, and clinic. Students are encouraged to share the responsibility for and engagement in their own learning from the moment they step onto the campus.
The dedication of the College of Health Science faculty and staff has consistently led to national recognition of and accolades for its academic programs and individual students. The college is well known in the region for the exceptional skill level of its graduates, who not only leave UAFS with the knowledge to succeed in their current field of study, but the intellectual agility to adapt to the rapid pace of change across the health care industry.