ACU director of advising named dean of students at Pepperdine


For immediate release
August 28, 2001

Abilene Christian University's director of advising, Dr. Mark Davis, has accepted a job at Pepperdine University as the dean of student affairs.

Davis, who came to ACU from Pepperdine two years ago, will leave at the end of the semester.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have accepted Mark's resignation," said Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, university provost. "In his roles as dean of the First-Year Program and director of academic advising, Dr. Davis has provided exemplary leadership. During his two years at ACU, he has worked collaboratively with faculty, students, staff and fellow deans to enhance the quality of the educational experience of first-year students."

While at ACU, Davis worked to lay a solid foundation for the improvement of advising by strengthening programs such as Passport, Welcome Week, University100 and first-year advising. In addition, he has clarified degree plans, enhanced connections between service and leadership, encouraged a fuller integration of learning and faith, strengthened learning communities, and challenged students to have higher expectations, VanRheenen said.

Davis's other colleagues have felt his influence as well. The college deans have said about Mark, "Whatever he touches gets better."

VanRheenen said he plans to meet with the Student Achievement Team this week to discuss directions for the future.

Other Changes

Cynthia Cooke, previously director of campus activities, has taken a position as a student retention advisor in the Office for Student Retention.

Miriam Upton directs the Office of Student Retention.

"Cynthia brings a wealth of experience to this position, having served as dean of women, associate dean of student life, dean of campus life, and director of campus activities," VanRheenen said. "I appreciate Cynthia's love for students and am pleased she will be able to directly serve ACU students."

Dr. Jim Nichols has been named chair of the department of Biology. 

Nichols served as acting chair while Dr. Dan Brannan was on a faculty renewal leave last year. 

Now Brannon will be able to continue to work on his research and teaching and spend less time in administration.

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Last update: Aug. 28, 2001

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