UTPA appoints interim deans for two colleges
Posted: 01/21/2005
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The University of Texas-Pan American recently appointed two interim deans - Dr. Wallace E. Tucker to the College of Arts and Humanities and Dr. Velma Menchaca to the College of Education - after administrative changes were made in both colleges early this month.

"I am very pleased that these two individuals were willing to take on this very critical role. I am very confident that both Dr. Tucker and Dr. Menchaca will be successful in leading the colleges during their tenures as interim deans. Their years of service to the University and to their respective colleges will be an asset to the faculty and staff as we begin a new year," Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, said.

- Dr. Wallace E. Tucker
Arévalo said the appointments will be effective starting Monday, Jan. 24.

Tucker and Menchaca received overwhelming support from faculty and staff at each of the colleges said Arévalo about their appointments.

"They both have had prior administrative experience, budget management and human resource management backgrounds," Arévalo said. "They are well respected in the colleges and across campus which is critical in building a collaborative relationship with other colleges and administrative units on campus."

Tucker was hired at UTPA in 1976 and currently serves as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and a professor in the Department of Music. He holds academic degrees from North Texas State University where he received his doctorate in musical arts, master's in music-orchestral instrument and bachelor's in music.

Tucker was appointed associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Sept. 1, 2004. Prior to that he served as assistant dean in the college from January 1999-August 2004. He was also assistant to the associate vice president for Graduate Affairs from September 1999-August 2000. In addition, he was chair of the Department of Music for 10 years.

"I am excited about facing the many challenges that come with the position of acting dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. I welcome the opportunity for personal growth and I appreciate the overwhelming support that I have received from the staff and the faculty of the College of Arts and Humanities," Tucker said.

- Dr. Velma Menchaca
Menchaca started at UTPA in 1998 as director for the Center of Applied Research in Education. She also served as coordinator for secondary education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from 1999-2000 and as interim director of the doctoral program in the College of Education during summer 2002. From 2001-2003 Menchaca was the chair and associate professor for the Department of Educational Leadership and she is currently the chair and professor of the department.

She received her doctorate from Texas A&M University with specializations in educational administration and curriculum and instruction. Menchaca received a master's degree from Southwest Texas State University in secondary education and health education and a bachelor's from Pan American University in 1979.

"I am excited about my appointment as interim dean and look forward to the challenges and opportunities to come," Menchaca said. "I want to create a community of scholars within the College of Education that supports the president's vision to move toward a research community. Simultaneously, I am hoping to expand that learning community to include other colleges at UTPA and our field constituencies such as our school districts, regional service center, other institutions of higher education and professional associations."

Arévalo said a schedule for the dean search process will be determined in the near future by the faculty in each of the colleges.

"The search process will be reviewed and discussed with faculty in each of the colleges and a time frame for initiating the dean searches will be determined. It is hoped that the process will not take more then a year to complete," Arévalo said.