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Daily, Rossmaier Named Academic Deans

Daily, Rossmaier Named Academic Deans

University of the Ozarks officials have announced that Dr. David Daily (right) and Joel Rossmaier have been named academic deans in their respective divisions, effective July 1. Daily, professor of religion, will serve as the dean of the Humanities & Fine Arts Division, while Rossmaier, associate professor of practice of business and accounting, will be the dean of the University’s Division of Social Sciences. The appointments coincide with the July 1 reorganization of the academic divisions. Daily has taught at Ozarks since 2000 and received the University’s Bagwell Outstanding Faculty Award in both 2004 and 2009.  He will replace Dr. Steve Oatis, professor of history, who has served as dean since 2015. “It will be an honor to serve as dean of the Division of Humanities & Fine Arts,” Daily said. “Through his years in that role, Steve Oatis has put the division on a strong footing, and I look forward to building on his work.” Rossmaier, joined Ozarks in 2002 as an adjunct instructor and became a full-time professor in 2003. He served as interim dean of the Division of Business at Ozarks for the 2018-19 academic year. “I am honored to be named as the dean of the Division of Social Sciences,” Rossmaier said. “The University is going through some exciting changes right now, and I look forward to being able to contribute to the growth of the programs within the division.” University Provost Dr. Alyson Gill commended the two new deans, who have a combined 36 years of Ozarks teaching experience. “Dr. Daily is a deeply respected member of the Ozarks community, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to take on this new role,” said Gill. “Since I have known him, I have found his to be a voice of gentle reason, and he brings with him not only a love for the Ozarks community, but a commitment to leading in a time of unprecedented growth with pedagogical richness. As the new dean of Humanities & Fine Arts, I believe that he will play a critical role in providing strong, consistent and communicative leadership for the division.” “Last year, I asked Professor Rossmaier to serve as interim Dean of Business. I have seen him step more fully into that role, and have grown to rely on his sound advice and ability to view things from multiple perspectives. He is a skilled navigator of complex spreadsheets, and comes into this role as a respected and thoughtful leader.” Oatis will return to full-time teaching and will continue to chair the provost advisory group and serve as the division representative on the HLC strategic assessment team. “As a new provost, I appreciate Dr. Oatis’ tireless efforts in leading the division over the years,” Gill said. “This cannot be overstated, and I am deeply grateful for his service to the University—a place that he loves and is deeply invested in.” In a related note, beginning July 1 the four current academic divisions will be aligned to reflect the LENS curriculum and will be known as Humanities & Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics divisions. With this re-organization, the communication and sociology disciplines will move to Social Sciences. The reorganized divisions: Humanities & Fine Arts (Dr. David Daily, Dean) MAJORS: Art, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish, Theatre MINORS:  American Studies, Art, Creative Writing & Thought, English, History, Interfaith Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish, Theatre Social Sciences (Joel Rossmaier, Dean) MAJORS: Accounting, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Elementary Education, Environmental Studies, Physical Education K-12, Political Science, Sociology MINORS: Accounting, Athletic Coaching, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Film Studies, Management, Marketing, Media Production, Military Science, Physical Education, Political Science, Sociology, Strategic Communication Natural Sciences & Mathematics (Dr. Sean Coleman, Dean) MAJORS:  Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Health Science, Mathematics, Psychology MINORS: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Health Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sustainable AgricultureLarry Graham, a 26-year law enforcement veteran, has been named the director of public safety at University of the Ozarks. He began his duties on June 11. Graham retired in February after 22 years with the Portland (Ore.) Police Bureau, starting as a utility officer and leaving as a captain in the city’s central precinct, where he supervised more than 150 officers and support team members. “I feel extremely blessed to be invited into the University of the Ozarks family,” Graham said. “Student and faculty safety will always be my main focus, but I am hopeful our department can become so much more. I want our officers to be mentors, role models, and a safe harbor for our students. Please don’t hesitate to call or stop in and say hello. I want to know how we can best serve the University and ensure student success.” As part of his role with the Portland Police Bureau, Graham served as crowd management incident commander, where he led efforts in managing and controlling large events. He also initiated outreach and relationship development programs in diverse neighborhoods in the city. His law enforcement experience also includes working with and mentoring youth in his community through scholarship and summer camp programs. “Larry was an exemplary officer known for building relationships within his community and for his service to the community,” said Jeff Scaccia, vice president for finance and administration. “His extensive background in law enforcement, his organizational and management skills and his experience working with students and youth will make him a valuable member of the Ozarks staff. I believe he will serve our students and greater community well.”

Background

Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in management and communication from Concordia University in Portland and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the American Military University in Charleston, West Virginia. He also graduated from the FBI National Leadership Academy in Quantico, Va. He served in the United States Navy as well as the U.S. Navy Reserves. Graham and his wife, Cara, have a 9-year-old daughter, Hope.Arkansas circuit judge and pastor Wendell L. Griffen will speak at University of the Ozarks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, in the Rogers Conference Center. The event was originally scheduled for February but was postponed because of illness. Griffen’s talk is titled, “Prophetic Hope, Religious Nationalism, and the Fate of Democracy in the 21st Century,” and is made possible by the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Guest Speaker Endowment. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend. His lecture will be based in part on his 2017 book, “The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope.” He will have books available for sale and to sign following the event. “My remarks will address the tensions within the U.S. and other societies presented by religious-based nationalism,” Griffen said. “Before the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, many observers viewed religious nationalism to challenge democratic values in societies such as Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Turkey. I will ponder aloud the implications for and challenges to democracy in the U.S. and abroad from the fact that white religious nationalism is a dominant factor in U.S. domestic and global policy, with special attention on the influence of white religious nationalism on social justice in the U.S. and abroad.”

Background

A circuit judge for the 5th Division in the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas, Griffen also serves as pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock and CEO of Griffen Strategic Consulting, a consulting practice focused on cultural competency and inclusion. Griffen is a native of Delight, Ark., and a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, a 1975 graduate of the Defense Race Relations Institute, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in work concerning race relations and equal opportunity. Since 1979, Griffen has actively devoted himself to law, public policy, and ministry. He was the first person of color to become an associate and later a partner in a major Arkansas law firm, Wright, Lindsey, and Jennings in Little Rock. For almost two years, he was Chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission by appointment of Gov. Bill Clinton. He pursued seminary extension studies through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained in May 1988 after being called to his first pastorate. From January 1996 to December 2008, he served as a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. Then Griffen taught administrative law, constitutional law, criminal procedure, and a seminar he developed on law and cultural competency as a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law before being elected circuit judge. ‎His writings about faith, social justice, public policy, cultural competency and inclusion can be found on his blogs: “Wendell Griffen on Cultural Competency” and “Justice Is a Verb!” Griffen is married to Dr. Patricia Griffen, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and they are parents of two adult sons.