Dr. Bobby K. Marks, SHSU president, said in announcing Lewis's appointment that his strengths included his credentials, his community involvement, his work on his college's recent accreditation, his work on the endowed chair of banking and a scholarship endowment, and support from faculty, staff and alumni.
"We were fortunate to have someone as qualified and experienced, with a dedication to Sam Houston State University, right here on campus," said Marks. "We can look forward to great things from the College of Business Administration under Dr. Lewis's guidance."
Marks accepted the recommendation of Dr. James Gilmore, vice president for Academic Affairs, after a search committee had compared the qualifications of Lewis to those of 34 applicants who came forward after a national search.
"It is with great honor, humility, and sheer joy that I begin my tenure as dean of the College of Business Administration," said Lewis. "The past year has been challenging, yet rewarding and fulfilling in numerous ways," said Lewis. "My experiences as an alumnus and long time resident of this area have fostered a great love for and dedication to the College of Business Administration and Sam Houston State University."
Lewis said that the College of Business Administration is in great shape, thanks to the previous leadership of Marks and Gilmore, both of whom are former deans.
"The College is positioned to continue strategic growth and achievement," said Lewis. "I am excited about continuing to work with an outstanding management team and a superlative faculty. I am very optimistic about the future of the College."
Lewis, a native of Normangee, earned his bachelor of business administration degree from Texas A&M University in 1965, his master of business administration degree from Sam Houston State in 1967, and his Ph. D. in business administration from the University of Arkansas in 1972.
His community involvement includes current service as a board member and treasurer of the Huntsville Education Foundation, chairing the public relations, membership and education committees of the Chamber of Commerce, serving as vice-president and president of both the United Way and American Heart Association, director of the Walker County Economic Development Corporation, and membership on the Mayor's Economic Advisory Council.
Lewis chaired the committee that prepared the way for American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation announced in April, 1996. He also helped secure the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking and a scholarship endowment.
Dr. William B. Green, who chaired the search committee, said there was "overwhelming support" for Lewis among the college's faculty.
"During this last year both faculty and staff have worked with Dr. Lewis and have been impressed with his initiative, knowledge, and leadership style," said Green. Other members of the search committee included college faculty members Dr. Sara Hart, Dr. Paul Reed and Dr. Ennis Hawkins, and Dr. Kenneth Craycraft, dean of the College of Education and Applied Science.
After Lewis received his bachelor's degree, he worked in retail sales for Exxon while obtaining his master's degree. He taught half-time at the University of Arkansas from 1967-'69, was assistant professor of marketing at East Texas State University from 1969-'73, and taught in the University of Arkansas European Master of Science Program in management in 1974 in England, Turkey and Spain.
Lewis was associate professor and professor of marketing and director of the Small Business Institute at East Texas State from 1975 to '80, when he became professor of marketing and director of the Small Business Institute at SHSU.
From 1983 to '87 he served as vice president for marketing at the First National Bank of Huntsville, returning to SHSU to serve as associate dean, graduate coordinator, and professor of marketing until he became interim dean in October, 1995.