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Division Of Academic Affairs Announces Reorganization

Oct. 15, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Richard Eglsaer
Richard Eglsaer

As part of a reorganization of Sam Houston State University’s Division of Academic Affairs, Provost Jaimie Hebert has announced that Richard Eglsaer has been promoted to vice provost of the university.

Additional appointments include Mary Robbins to associate vice president for academic affairs and Barbara Eckenfels to executive director of special programs. Both appointments will report to Eglsaer.

“The programs and units involved in this reorganization have all reported directly to Dr. Eglsaer in the past,” said Hebert. “While these programs have been extraordinarily successful within the past organizational structure, the record growth of the institution, changes in budgeting processes, and a desire to develop more targeted, integrated success strategies led to the change in organizational and reporting structure.

“Student success initiatives, academic support units, and auxiliary academic programs will all remain the responsibility of Vice Provost Eglsaer, as well as serving as a liaison to the Texas State University System and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on academic matters,” Hebert said.

“However, the areas reporting to the vice provost will be grouped under the direct supervision of Dr. Robbins and Ms. Eckenfels,” he said. “The goal of this reorganization is to promote more efficient administration of the areas, develop synergy among subareas, and allow focus on critical growth areas.”

Eglsaer came to SHSU in 1983 to create a school psychology-training program. In addition to teaching in the Department of Psychology, he has served as chair of the department, Faculty Senate president, and director of the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program. For the past 13 years, he has served as the associate vice president of academic affairs and associate provost.

Mary Robbins
Mary Robbins

Under his direction, Robbins will take the primary lead in working with the Terry Foundation scholarship program; overseeing the Success Initiatives program, directed by Kay Angrove; the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, directed by Bill Fleming; and the Academic Support Centers, under the direction of Ann Theodori, Wally Barnes and Mary Lou Shelton.

Eckenfels will direct the Elite Program and supervise the Office of International Programs, under Richard Porter; and the Testing Center, under Pam Havens.

Eglsaer will work with Robbins and Eckenfels in overseeing the Honors College, under the direction of Gene Young; the ROTC Program, under the command of Lt. Col. Robert McCormick; The Woodlands Center, under the direction of Janet Mullings; University Park, under the direction of Carolyn Martinez; articulation agreements, under the direction of David Burris; the scholarship office, under the direction of Amy Wilson; and the Bachelor’s of General Studies degree program, under the direction of Bill Hyman.

Robbins served as the former interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and is a professor of education. She came to Sam Houston State University in 1990 after completing her doctorate in reading from Texas Woman’s University and serving in teaching and leadership positions at Mississippi State University, Texas Christian University, and Texas Woman’s University. Since joining the faculty in SHSU’s College of Education, she has been instrumental in establishing professional development school alliances, increasing field-based experiences for pre-service teachers, mentoring doctoral students, and creating a student and learning-centered climate.

“As educators, our focus is on student success,” she said. “The climate at SHSU is warm, inviting and engaging, which goes a long way to help students be successful academically. We will continue our efforts to help students achieve their academic and career goals and look for opportunities to expand our services to students.”

Robbins will continue to teach in the literacy doctoral program in the College of Education.
“Teaching is who I am,” she said. “I could never leave that behind. It was a tough decision to leave the professorate and move to a staff position, but I knew I could do it if I could continue to teach. I enjoy working with faculty, staff and students—this position is a great match for me, for my interests and my abilities.”

Barbara Eckenfels
Barbara Eckenfels

Eckenfels, who served as a professor and faculty counselor at the Lone Star College–Montgomery campus before coming to SHSU, received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Houston and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston–Clear Lake.

She has worked in collaboration with the other LSC-Montgomery counselors to supervise and manage all of the full-time and part-time advisers on their campus. During the last academic year she developed, implemented and managed the Adviser and the Faculty Adviser Training Program at her institution.

She has also served as president of the Faculty Senate. Previously, she co-chaired the committee that organized the Achieving the Dream–Early Intervention Program, a program aimed at retaining at-risk math students. She also co-directed and implemented the LSC-Montgomery Summer Bridge Program for high school graduates who placed into developmental classes. She was the original chair and organizer of the event, “Adelante Day,” which was successful in reaching and bringing hundreds of first-generation and English-for-speakers-of-other-languages students to the LSC-Montgomery campus.


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