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Baldwin Resigns as Arts and Sciences Dean

Christopher Baldwin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sam Houston State University, has resigned effective June 30, 2000. He plans to remain on the faculty to teach geology and do research.

David Payne, vice president for academic affairs, said a national search will be conducted for Baldwin's replacement, which Payne expects to be selected prior to that date.

"Chris is one of the brightest people I know and has made important contributions to Sam Houston State University as dean," said Payne. "He will continue to play a vital role in the intellectual life of the university as a faculty member in coming years."

Baldwin said that leading the College of Arts and Sciences since August 1994 has been "the most stimulating and productive phase of my academic career."

He said he especially enjoyed working to provide "access to higher education to a group of students who may have been either short-changed by an insensitive high school system or students who had never had revealed to themselves their talents and potential."

"SHSU provides that access and I have been proud to be associated with a variety of interventions and designs that were intended to strengthen those endeavors," he said.

An example of such programs was the current academic advisement program, designed to improve retention rates, to provide assistance to students who may need it, and to offer students the opportunity to meet with an adviser concerning which courses they should be taking to meet degree requirements.

"At the other end of the ability scale we have our share of gifted students and our faculty has been just as committed and just as innovative in dealing with the needs of those students," he said.

On a personal note, Baldwin said that he and his wife especially enjoy Sam Houston State's "supportive collegiality."

"My wife and I have made more friends here at SHSU than we made either in 12 years teaching in Boston or in 10 years teaching in England," he said. "These friends are one of the major reasons that we have decided to stay here."

A native of England, Baldwin did take a jab at Texas weather, as "always being so fresh and stimulating (but at least you don't have to shovel it as you do in New England)."

Baldwin said he plans to continue to work on programs for "less well prepared students," and development of learning communities. As far as his research, he said, he will have to decide whether his first grant proposal will be for work in the Arctic or the Sahara.

Before coming to Sam Houston State, Baldwin participated in expeditions to such areas as Antarctica, the Arctic, West Africa, Saudi Arabia and Ireland. He has more than 50 major publications and abstracts in the areas of clastic sedimentology, animal/sediment interaction and trace fossils, recent marginal marine and glaciomarine sedimentation, paleozoic stratigraphy, facies analysis and ramp sedimentation.

Before taking the Sam Houston State dean's post, Baldwin was associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. He had been affiliated with Boston University since 1984, when he began work there as an associate professor in the Department of Geology.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
October 18, 1999
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