ACU Names New Dean of Graduate School and Assistant Provost

for immediate release May 6, 1998

Dr. Angela Brenton, chair of the Communication and Mass Media Department at Southwest Missouri State University, has been named Abilene Christian University's new dean of the Graduate School and assistant provost for research and service.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, ACU provost. Brenton will replace Dr. Carley Dodd, who is returning to teaching in the ACU Communication Department.

Brenton will assume the new role Aug. 1, reporting to the provost and serving as a member of the University Council of Deans. She will chair the University Research Council and the Graduate Council.

The ACU graduate dean and assistant provost provides administrative leadership for the graduate degree programs and the research and service functions of the university.

"Dr. Brenton is an excellent scholar, having received awards for her research and teaching," VanRheenen said. "Her leadership experience and her clear vision for research, service and graduate education at ACU make her the ideal candidate."

Brenton began as a teaching assistant in 1975 at the University of Oklahoma and taught at Oklahoma Christian for three years as an instructor. She served as an assistant professor at the University of Kansas from 1979-82, then continued her teaching at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1982-97. She became a full professor there in 1992.

She took the position as a professor of organizational communication and department head at Southwest Missouri State in 1997.

"I think we will be challenged in the near future to rethink our paradigms as students become oriented more toward competencies and less toward traditional college degrees," Brenton wrote in her vision statement. The development of adult and continuing education program will be part of her responsibility as assistant provost.

Brenton has demonstrated her competence in the corporate world, presenting seminars and professional presentations relating to leadership, organizational management and communication.

At the University of Arkansas, she designed and directed a two-year strategic planning process, UALR 2000, and made recommendations for how the university could meet community needs through partnerships.

Brenton also has consulted and provided training for numerous companies, including AT&T, Twin City Bank, Transworld Airlines, TRW, Arkansas Department of Health, CJRW Advertising Agency and Southwestern Bell.

She earned an B.A. in mass communication and a B.S.E. in speech communication from Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts, an M.A. in communication from the University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Kansas.

Her community service experience includes training and group facilitation for such organizations as United Way and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

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In addition to 117 bachelor's programs, ACU offers 35 master's programs and one doctoral program through its Graduate School, which has been recognized regionally and nationally. The U.S. Air Force gave ACU an "A+" in an annual quality review of its master's program in organizational and human resource development offered at Dyess Air Force Base. In 1995-96, just under 70 percent of ACU graduate faculty made scholarly contributions recognized in academic circles including papers, conference presentations, articles and books. On average, 98 percent of ACU master's degree students are accepted into their first-choice doctoral programs.

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Last update: May 7, 1998