New dean of honors selected

Nathan Carter

 Dr. Michael Garoutte, director of the honors program, has decided to step down from the position of honors director to return to teaching chemistry.

He felt it was a necessity for his department.

“I teach chemistry, and we have a really big demand in chemistry, so I really felt like my position in honors releases me from half of my teaching load in chemistry,” Garoutte said. 

The other reason was more personal for him. Garoutte has two children, and the time commitment left him with a decision to make, but his priorities are set.

“I’d really like to be able to spend more time while they’re growing up,” he said. “It was a tough decision. I like this job.”

Five people jumped at the opportunity to run the honors program.

“I’m excited about the honors thing,” said AJ Anglin, vice president for academic affairs. “I really am. I’m pleased that there’s this much interest. I really did not expect that. I thought that there’d be at least one or two, but that really surprised me in a very positive way.”

Anglin announced the names of the applicants at the Faculty Senate meeting Monday. The applicants were Frank Pishkur, associate professor of art, who went through the honors program at Indiana State University, Joanna Derfelt, associate professor of political science, who went through the honors program from 1991 to 1995 at Missouri Southern, Joy Dworkin, professor of English and philosophy, who has taught the honor’s World Literature class for more than 12 years and directed some honor’s theses, along with Nii Abrahams professor of business administration, and Michael Howarth, assistant professor of English and philosophy. Anglin said each of the applicants received a 30 minute interview each on Wednesday and his office told The Chart Thursday morning that Howarth was selected for the position.

“The interview went well,” Howarth said. “It was a nice relaxing interview. I was able to talk about what I can bring to the program.”

Howarth said he has done extensive work with the international program and travel. His interest in the job was partly to do with his personal studies, where he went through the honors program at James Madison University.

“I’m very excited about the job,” he said. “I look forward to work with the students and the staff.

“Its going to be a smooth transition and it’s always good to give back to a program that gave to you when you were young.”

Howarth starts next semester.

The position for the dean of the school of business has also opened. Southern is taking an ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education to advertise the opening.

“Typically in these cases you do a national, international search,” Anglin said. “You really want to know people wherever they are if they’re interested.”

The ad comes out today.