Dr. Homer Garcia, vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Saint Francis in Indiana, has been named the new dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas-Pan American.
Garcia, who officially began his duties Monday, July 16, after a year at St. Francis, replaces Dr. Dan Dearth, who had served as interim dean for about two years.
"I want to facilitate the great things that are being done in this University and in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences," Garcia said. "My main priority will be to serve my faculty, encourage a commitment to teaching excellence and bring more funds for research and teaching strategies. "
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is composed of the departments of criminal justice, military science, political science, psychology and anthropology, and sociology. It also includes an Honors Studies Program, a Police Officers Licensing Program and the Center for Local Government.
Garcia hopes to incorporate some of his ideas to the University through interactive relationships with faculty and students.
"I have always believed in hands-on learning and service learning," Garcia said. "I will encourage faculty to consider including service-learning projects in their classes because involement in community organizations makes students more civic-minded and marketable for jobs."
Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, UTPA provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, is confident Garcia will contribute to the overall enhancement of the University because of his management experience.
"Dr. Garcia comes with a wealth of experience in the areas of program development, strategic planning, faculty-student collaborative research and external fund raising," Arévalo said. "He brings a fresh outlook and vision to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences that will signal a period of growth and enhancement for the academic programs within the college."
Garcia obtained a Bachelor's degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin in 1972 and went to Yale University to obtain his master's and doctorate in sociology. He also completed his postdoctoral work in educational public policy at John Hopkins University.
Some of Garcia's previous job positions include vice provost for Academic Planning and professor at Baylor University in Waco, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College/Claremont Colleges, and instructor at the University of Arizona.
Besides his administrative duties, Garcia has published several articles, received grants for extensive research and been honored with several awards, including the ACE Fellows Program award, Teaching Excellence Recognition and Faculty Member of the Year award at Claremont Colleges.