The academic structure at Catawba College is changing. In addition to different academic departments headed by chairs, academic departments will now be affiliated with five different schools, each headed by a dean. Overseeing the five schools and serving as the institution's chief academic officer is Provost Dr. Rick Stephens who joined the College in January.
College President Dr. W. Craig Turner made the announcement of the change to faculty and staff in late March, but only four deans were named at that point. May 16th, during the Catawba College Board of Trustees retreat held on campus, Turner named the fifth dean, Bryan Applefield of Dothan, Ala., a college trustee and a 1966 alumnus, who has enjoyed a successful career as owner of Goldco, Inc. a franchise holding company which owned 59 Burger Kings and employed over 1,600 people in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Applefield, who sold his restaurants to Equicorp Partners of Atlanta in 2008 and whose background is in real estate development, will not be paid for serving as interim dean of the Ketner School of Business. The Ketner School of Business will be home to the academic departments of business administration and communication arts.
Stephens said that Dean Applefield "has substantial leadership experience in business and a long-term commitment to Catawba College as an alumnus and a trustee." He also noted Applefield's "ability to connect and reconnect the alumni of the program to the faculty and students of the current program," and called him "a liaison person."
"Dean Applefield is passionate about Catawba delivering to its students. He is fully committed to the mission of the institution and we believe that the combination of all of these will stimulate and generate productivity and creativity in the Ketner School of Business," Stephens explained. "Even though his role will be interim, he will certainly make the position attractive for the next person to come in and serve."
In addition to Applefield, the other Deans are current tenured faculty members at Catawba. They, and the respective schools they will head, include Dr. James Stringfield, dean of the Goodman School of Education (education and physical education); Dr. Steve Coggin, dean of the Hurley School of Arts and Sciences (English, history/political science, mathematics, modern foreign languages, psychology, religion/philosophy, biology, chemistry, and sociology; Dr. Woodrow Hood, dean of the Shuford School of Performing Arts (music and theatre); and Dr. Edith Bolick, dean of the School of Evening and Graduate Studies.
"We're too small for roles to get in the way of the relationships we need to make this place work," Stephens continued. "These are going to be hands-on, operational deans who will be the communicating conduits to faculty and staff. Through them, it is my hope that we can broadcast certain initiatives across the campus rapidly."
Dr. James Stringfield joined the faculty in 1997 as an associate professor of teacher education and was named to head teacher education at the College in 1998. In 2005, he promoted to the rank of professor of teacher education. A former high school science teacher, Stringfield came to Catawba from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as associate professor and coordinator of secondary education, program director of science education and director of the UPJ Center for Mathematics and Science Education. He received his bachelor's and master's degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Steve Coggin came to Catawba in 1985 as an assistant professor of biology. A native of West Palm Beach, Fla., he was educated at Broward Community College, Florida State University and the University of Georgia. Prior to coming to Catawba, he served as a teaching assistant and research technician at the University of Georgia. At Catawba, he was granted tenure in 1991 and promoted to the rank of professor of biology in 1995. He was tapped to head Catawba's science department in 1998.
Dr. Woodrow Hood joined the Catawba faculty in 2002 as an associate professor of theatre arts and chair of that department. He was granted tenure in 2004. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University, a master's degree from Louisiana Tech University, and a doctor of philosophy degree from University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to joining the Catawba faculty, he was an assistant professor and head of Theatre Arts at High Point University. He has also taught at Wake Forest University and Pfeiffer University.
Dr. Edith Bolick, a 1970 alumna of Catawba, holds the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served as an assistant professor of sociology at Catawba from 1974 to 1977 and rejoined the faculty in 1985. Since that time, she has served as chair of the sociology department, associate dean of the College and acting dean of the College. She was granted tenure at the College in 1988 and promoted to dean of the School of Evening and Graduate Studies in 2006. She has also taught at Wake Forest University and Livingstone College, where she served as chairman of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
"Taken together the new deans are outstanding persons, as well as exceptionally well credentialed and experienced," according to Stephens. "They will listen, as well as lead, as we work together through current challenges and transitions."