Academic Career & Executive Search Finds Dean for Texas A&M University

October 29, 2020 – West Hartford, Conn.-based Academic Career & Executive Search (ACES) has placed Debra Feakes as the new dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas A&M University – San Antonio in San Antonio, TX. “Co-chairs Vijay Golla and Bill Bush sought to find a dean who could proactively take the lead in solidifying and implementing the vision, mission and goals for the college,” said Jennifer Muller, managing partner at ACES. “More importantly, they aimed to find a seasoned, decisive leader with the ability to inspire and lead faculty with diverse interests and scholarly approaches. With experience as both a leader and a professor, Dr. Feakes has the perfect background to understand what is needed to shape the future of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. We wish Texas A&M – San Antonio and Dr. Feakes success on this exciting journey forward together.”

Dr. Feakes most recently served as dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences. She was also on the school’s academic master plan steering committee in the development of the intellectual life vision and path for the university.

Dr. Feakes completed her undergraduate degree in mineral engineering chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines and her graduate degree in chemistry at Utah State University. Before entering the academic ranks, she served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California at Los Angeles. She served on the faculty in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Texas State University from 1994 to 2018. She has received numerous awards for her commitment to undergraduate teaching and was named a 2016 Piper Professor and a 2017 Regents Teacher. She was a member of the faculty senate at Texas State University for nine years, chaired that body for four years, and is recognized as an advocate for all faculty, particularly the nontenure line faculty. In addition to serving as the associate chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry between 2012 and 2018, she served as the interim chair for one year, and was the 2015-2016 Presidential Fellow.

Related: Navigating the Insular World of Academic Recruiting

Texas A&M University – San Antonio’s College of Arts & Sciences is home to science and mathematics, social sciences, and language, literature and arts. It offers 36 undergraduate degrees, master of arts in English and master of science in water resources science and technology degree.

Respected Recruiters

Academic Career & Executive Search focuses on executive search services, career planning and candidate coaching. Specializing in challenging faculty to senior administrative positions, the firm offers six a la carte services spanning full search, candidate generation, interim, multi-hire and contingency search. Candidate support services include webinars, career planning and candidate coaching. Its team has served in virtually every capacity in higher education including president, vice president, provost, dean, chief human research officer and faculty members across all types and sizes of institutions.

Academic Career & Executive Search Seeks Two Campus Presidents for Dallas College
Academic Career & Executive Search has been chosen to find two campus presidents for Dallas College in Texas. One will lead the school’s El Centro campus; the other will oversee the Mountain View campus. “The El Centro campus desires a broad thinking leader comfortable interacting with top industry executives, raising funds and helping to drive the brand new downtown campus initiative to fruition,” said the search firm. 

Ms. Muller has more than 20 years’ research and development experience in higher education and Fortune 500 companies. She has led over 70 higher education searches both domestically and internationally spanning presidents, vice presidents, associate chancellors, deans, directors, chairs and faculty level positions. She is former vice chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and serves as an advisor in the numerous ACE leadership development forums.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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