Thompson Named Founding Dean of College of Humanities & Sciences
Tigerville, SC (November 9, 2018) North Greenville University (NGU) Office of Academic Affairs announced Friday that Dr. Paul Thompson, currently the dean of the College of Humanities, will be the founding dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences effective January 1, 2019.
The College of Humanities & Sciences will include: the School of Humanities which will offer academic programs in English, history, and modern languages & linguistics; the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences will encompass the academic programs of political science, criminal justice & legal studies, and psychology; and the School of Science and Math will include undergraduate programs in biology, chemistry & physical science, computer science, health sciences, and math. The College will also house the interdisciplinary studies program.
“We are excited to consolidate these programs into one organizational structure, which will allow us to empower faculty, to develop more academic leaders, and to serve our students with enhanced quality,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “Dean Thompson is a thoughtful leader who will position these academic programs for excellence and new opportunities for growth.”
Thompson received his doctorate in American history from Emory University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. He is a diversity fellow of The Riley Institute at Furman University and an alum of Leadership Greenville class 44.
“After serving as dean of the College of Humanities since 2015, I am honored that President Fant has appointed me as the founding dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. I am excited to build on the solid programs and quality faculty I am inheriting from Dean Tom Allen, of the former College of Science and Math, and to work to advance Dr. Fant’s vision for the university,” said Thompson.
Before teaching at NGU, Thompson had a 13-year career as a public school teacher and taught history at Lander University. His teaching and research interests include the 19th-century temperance movement, African American history, and the history of Christianity in America. He is also the 2015 NGU recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award, given by the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities. He is the author of “A Most Stirring and Significant Episode: Religion and the Rise and Fall of Prohibition in Black Atlanta, 1865-1887” and articles in various encyclopedias.
“Paul Thompson is a popular classroom teacher, thoughtful historian, and proven leader, both at North Greenville and in the wider community. He exemplifies what it means to think Christianly about higher education, and in this expanded leadership role he will have the opportunity to cast a wider vision and support the work of a greater number of faculty and their disciplines,” said NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty Dr. Nathan A. Finn. “I’m excited to see Dean Thompson and his gifted team of associate deans lead our programs in the humanities and sciences into a new season of flourishing.”
Thompson says that he will be working with roughly 70 full-time faculty who are already committed Christians, and who are already committed to the integration of their Christian faith into disciplines they teach.
“I hope to build a positive culture that prioritizes excellent teaching, recognizes research and scholarship, resources meaningful faculty development, and that noticeably advances impactful Christian higher education for the glory of God in the twenty-first century,” he said.
Thompson’s leadership team will include the following newly appointed associate deans: Dr. Cheryl Collier, associate dean, School of Humanities; Dr. David Tyner, associate dean, School of Social and Behavior Sciences; and Dr. Jeff French, associate dean, School of Science and Math.