Buena Vista University (BVU) has selected Dr. David R. Evans as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.
Evans, 44, has been Dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University (OCU) since 2005. He will start at BVU in early July.
"After a diligent national search and interviews with a number of excellent candidates, we are extremely pleased to name Dr. Evans to this highly important leadership position at Buena Vista," says BVU President Fred Moore. "His depth of experience, his expertise and his enthusiasm for new challenges brings an added dimension to Buena Vista as we move forward with our strategic goals for faculty development and the quality of our academic programs."
Evans fills the position formerly held by Dr. Jacqueline Johnson, who left BVU to become the chancellor of the University of Minnesota/Morris. Dr. Michael Whitlatch, professor of drama, has served as interim vice-president. "I want to give special thanks to both Dr. Whitlatch for his exceptional work as our interim vice president and to our search committee, chaired by Dr. Ken Schweller," adds Moore.
"I am truly honored to be selected for this position," says Evans. "My interactions with everyone on campus have been incredibly positive, exciting, and energizing, and I look forward to working with the students, faculty and staff to add to the university's traditions of excellence and innovation. I am inspired by President Moore's vision for this position, and I can't wait to join his leadership team to advance Buena Vista University."
Evans first became familiar with Buena Vista when he was on the faculty at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa in the 1990s. "As I have learned more about Buena Vista's culture and campus, I have been compelled by the passion for student success that drives everyone who works at both the Storm Lake campus and in the Professional and Online Studies program," he adds. "I have missed small-college life in Iowa and am genuinely thrilled to be returning to it."
As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at OCU, Evans has had oversight of 65 full-time faculty; an annual budget of approximately $5.4 million; 19 academic departments and more than 25 bachelor's degree programs, several master's degree programs and adult-education/degree-completion programs. The College has 900 majors on campus and another 300 students in a Mass Communications program in Singapore. It also provides most of the general education program for the 2,000 undergraduate students on the OCU campus. The adult education program has about 200 students.
One of Evans' key initiatives at OCU was the development of an Environmental Studies major, which is a cross-disciplinary program involving its schools of business and religion building on a gift of land for a field station he helped to secure in 2006.
Prior to his current position, Evans had been professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Speech and Journalism at Georgia College & State University (Milledgeville, Ga.) since 2000. In 1990, he joined the faculty at Cornell College and from 1996-2000 chaired the school's Department of English. He was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Virginia from 1987-89.
He has earned several awards and honors during his career, including two fellowships from Yale University and a Presidential Fellowship at the University of Virginia.
His wife, Ursula McCarty, is visiting assistant professor of art at Macalester College in St. Paul. She was born in Spirit Lake and grew up in Harlan.