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Welcome new appointments to the Division of Academic Affairs

May 4, 2016

Dear faculty and staff members, 

I am pleased to welcome the following individuals to the Division of Academic Affairs. On Monday, Dr. Victor Prybutok assumed the leadership of the Toulouse Graduate School and Mr. Robert A. Watling joined UNT as the new Vice Provost for Academic Resources. Finley Graves

Vice Provost for Toulouse Graduate School

Dr. Victor Prybutok is a Regents Professor of Decision Sciences and most recently served as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research in the College of Business. He also served for more than four years as the Associate Dean of the Toulouse Graduate School. He earned a number of degrees from Drexel University, including a Ph.D. in Environmental Analysis and Applied Statistics, a Master of Science in Bio-Mathematics, a Master of Science in Environmental Health, and a Bachelor of Science in Cooperative Biological Sciences. Dr. Prybutok has agreed to continue to serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Information until a new dean for the college is named.

Dr. Prybutok’s prior experience advancing interdisciplinary and disciplinary specific graduate programs will certainly strengthen the Toulouse Graduate School.  

Please join me in offering a special thanks to College of Engineering Dean Costas Tsatsoulis for leading the graduate school during the interim period. 

Vice Provost for Academic Resources

Mr. Robert A. Watling brings more than 15 years of financial management and institutional strategic planning experience to the position of Vice Provost for Academic Resources, primarily in higher education settings. Most recently, he was the Assistant Dean for Business Operations in North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Mr. Watling is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Tech. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from George Mason University. 

As Vice Provost, Mr. Watling serves as the chief academic budget and human resources officer. His extensive fiscal and planning experience will be an asset in his oversight of the Division of Academic Affairs’ fiscal operations, including administering financial processes and systems along with budgets.

Dean and Other Vice Provost Searches

National searches for deans for two of our colleges are nearing completion, as finalist candidates for the College of Music and College of Information have visited campus and interviewed with various groups. As these searches come to a close, I want to thank College of Business Dean Marilyn Wiley and Mayborn School of Journalism Dean Dorothy Bland, respectively, for their leadership as search committee chairs. Also nearing completion is the search for a new Vice Provost for International Affairs. Candidates for that position have visited campus and interviewed with various groups as well. Vice President for Enrollment, Shannon Goodman, has ably chaired that search and deserves thanks for his hard work.

Dr. Bertina Combes will assume leadership of the College of Education as Interim Dean effective Aug. 1, following the retirement of Dr. Jerry Thomas. Dr. Combes has a Ph.D. from University of Texas in Special Education, a Master’s in Education in Elementary School Supervision and Administration from Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Oral Roberts University. A search for a new dean of the college is underway with College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Holdeman leading the search committee. 

While in the months ahead we will have opportunities to say “thank you” to Dr. Thomas for his service to the university, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for his leadership of the College of Education for the past eight years. 

As the semester comes to a close, I want to thank you for the deep commitment to our students you express every day through your work as faculty and staff members. 



Posted on: Fri 06 May 2016

Owning Excellence

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