by Max Brantley
UA NEWS RELEASE
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas professor William Schwab, interim dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences since July 2008, has been named dean of the Fulbright College, effective July 1. He will serve in that capacity for two years.
Provost Sharon Gaber cancelled the national search for a permanent dean after one of two finalists for the position withdrew, and she immediately approached Schwab about removing the ‘interim’ from his title.
“I firmly believe that it would not be fair to the college and its faculty and staff to bring only one finalist to this critical position,” said Gaber. “Dr. Schwab has performed superbly in an interim role for the past year, and I have complete confidence that he will continue to provide the leadership and stability needed to move the college forward, as well as position it for a successful dean search in 2010-2011.”
Schwab served as associate dean of Fulbright College from 1993 to 1998 and has been chair of the sociology and criminal justice department twice, from 1989 to 1993 and from 1998 to 2008. He has written three books and numerous articles, papers and technical reports, and has received research grants totaling more than $2.5 million.
“Bill Schwab is a highly respected scholar and researcher, and knows as well as anyone on campus the strengths of the Fulbright College and challenges it faces,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “He has demonstrated during his tenure as interim dean the acumen and leadership required to advance the college and the university as a whole. I know that he will continue be an excellent leader for the Fulbright College, and I’m delighted that he has accepted this responsibility for the next couple of years.”
Prior to his appointment as interim dean, Schwab served as professor, department chair and associate dean. His contributions at the national level include work with organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Office of University Partnerships in the U.S. State Department. He also has served as an international development consultant in Bolivia and Jordan for U.S. Agency for International Development.
His research areas of specialization include urban ecology, community development and demography, with interests in urban change on the neighborhood level, economic development in the less developed world and cultural resource management.
“I am deeply honored to serve the Fulbright College and to be given the chance to continue working with my colleagues to provide a quality education to all our students,” said Schwab. “I appreciate the confidence placed in me by Chancellor Gearhart and Provost Gaber, as well as the great responsibility of leading the university’s largest and most diverse academic college. I look forward to continuing our work together to help realize the full potential of the Fulbright College.”
Schwab has a baccalaureate degree in chemistry and master's degrees in both urban planning and sociology. He earned his doctoral degree in sociology from Ohio State University in 1976 and joined the University of Arkansas faculty the same year.