Balthrop named Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts

Story by Lindsey Coleman, Staff writer

After much involvement on campus since his hire in 1993, David Balthrop will officially become the new Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts on July 1, 2017.

Balthrop served as the Chairman of the Theatre Department for 17 years, he served as the Director of Theatre and he was co-chairman of the University Chairs Council for a total of 23 years of experience at the university.

Although it was nationwide, he said the selection process was a pleasant, efficient and professional experience. He said he appreciates and is humbled by the opportunity he has been given.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with everyone on campus…from President Davies, the vice presidents, the Dean’s Council, the College’s Chairs Council and to all other groups that I will talk with on a daily basis to continue the forward movement our college currently enjoys,” Balthrop said.

As far as his vision for the college, he said he wants to make it the best student-centered college possible and to delegate tasks so teachers are encouraged to be very invested in their work.

“We must maintain and grow quality programs taught by the best professors possible, and we will utilize the best administrative staff to fulfill the College’s mission and goals,” Balthrop said.

Balthrop said he believes he is a strong listener and communicator, two qualities that will bode well for him in his new position.

“I ask for and respect the input of others,” Balthrop said. “I believe that faculty and department chairs know their curriculum well and should be trusted to make the right decisions.”

He said the luxuries of knowing the campus and enjoying change will be an asset to him.

“So I bring a mix of historical knowledge and a desire to incorporate change as necessary,” Balthrop said. “I believe the 23 years of administrative experience I have at MSU will serve the students, faculty and staff of the college well.”

Staci Stone has been the Interim Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts since July 1, 2015, when Ted Brown stepped down from Dean to return to teaching full time in the English and Philosophy Department. Stone will become Associate Dean upon Balthrop’s initiation as Dean of the College in the summer.

Stone said she and Balthrop worked closely together on the Chairs Council, and his years of experience and administration make him qualified. She said his vision, communication skills and general leadership abilities will make him a good leader for the college.

“I think that he will be an effective advocate for the humanities, fine arts and social sciences as we navigate this new strategic plan and performance-based funding,” Stone said.