UWF welcomes new deans as part of academic reorganization
The University of West Florida Division of Academic Affairs is currently implementing a restructure of its academic departments. As part of the process, the former three-college structure will be transitioned into four academic colleges, with three new deans hired to date.
“With the appointments of Drs. Michael Huggins, Steve Brown and William Crawley, I believe we have found the right people at the right time for our newly re-organized colleges,” said Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF Provost. “They bring diverse experiences to crucial roles in Academic Affairs. Under their leadership we will see renewed energy, new scholarly initiatives and improved operational efficiencies.”
The new academic college structure and respective deans are as follows:
- The College of Science, Engineering and Health, Dr. Michael Huggins, Dean
- The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Steven Brown, Dean
- The College of Education and Professional Studies, Dr. William Crawley, Dean
- The College of Business, Dr. Tim O’Keefe, Interim Dean
The year-long academic reorganization process was completed to re-energize the Division of Academic Affairs and better align the University’s college structure with the UWF Academic Master Plan. The goal of the reorganization was to increase visibility, agility and responsiveness and create and sustain financial stability of the colleges; increase operational efficiencies; and create external impacts by engaging the community and fulfilling core needs through natural alliances.
Dr. Michael Huggins previously served as interim dean of the former College of Arts and Sciences before being appointed dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Health. The newly formed college includes 11 departments including biology, chemistry, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, allied health and life sciences, exercise science, community health and more. The college also houses the Center on Aging and the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation.
“As a UWF alumnus, it is an honor to be named the inaugural Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Health,” Huggins said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue strengthening the STEM and Health programs and developing new academic programs that advance educational and economic development.”
As the dean of the newly formed College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Steven Brown is responsible for oversight and management of eight academic departments and the Division of Anthropology and Archaeology. Previously, he was associate vice president and dean of the Mississippi State University campus in Meridian, Miss.
“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside the extraordinary faculty members and administration within the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at UWF,” Brown said. “The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities incorporates the disciplines that represent the heart and soul of any institution of higher education. We are privileged to serve our region and our state, and look forward with enthusiasm to continually expanding opportunities to aid our student body and further serve the many constituencies we represent.”
Dr. William Crawley leads the College of Education and Professional Studies and is responsible for the advancement and support of seven academic departments, including teacher education and educational leadership, criminal
justice, hospitality, recreation and resort management, social work and more, as well as the ROTC programs and several institutes and centers. He previously served as associate dean of the College of
Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students at UWF and coming to know this quality institution,” Crawley said. “As dean, I hope to continue supporting the quality of the College of Education and Professional Studies and enhance the visibility of its programs by growing community engagement, in an effort to increase student success.”