The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Candidates for Dean of Education to visit campus in open forums

Candidates for Dean of Education to visit campus in open forums - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Associate vice president and dean of students Dr. Zeak T. Naifeh speaks to university staff and students at an open forum in Classroom Hall Nov. 19, 2021. Naifeh joined Texas A&M University-San Antonio as dean of students two months after contending against three other candidates in open forums as part of the review process for the university position. Forums for the dean of the College of Education and Human Development begin Sept. 25. File photo by Amber Esparza

Four candidates for dean of the College of Education and Human Development, will participate in open forums to meet faculty and staff next week.

Dr. Debra Feakes, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said candidates are required to do a presentation based on the prompt: How can Texas A&M University-San Antonio continue to address both opportunities and challenges within the current educational climate?

The search for a new dean of education began after Dr. Carl Sheperis stepped down May 17, 2022. Dr. Amy Lewis is currently serving as interim dean.

Faculty and staff will provide feedback about the strengths and weaknesses they observed from each candidate. 

The president of A&M San Antonio, Dr. Salvador Hector Ochoa, and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman will take this feedback into account during the hiring process. 

An outsourced search firm recruits and vets potential candidates. The university’s search committee takes these candidates, who are put through the interview process, and selects the new dean. 

Upon deciding who will be hired as dean, they will consider the candidates’ education, experience and if “they have the capacity to create a vision for the college in the realm of a strategic plan of the university,” said Feakes.

Here are the dates and times for each open forum:

  • Dr. Evan Ortlieb, chair in Entrepreneurial Education at the Zucker Family School of Education: 11-11:50 a.m Monday, Sept. 25
  • Dr. Joan Brewer, former dean of the Teachers College at Emporia State University: 11-11:50 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26
  • Dr. Emma Savage-Davis, dean of the College of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling at the University of Lynchburg: 11-11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27
  • Dr. Peter Sheppard, associate dean of Research & Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 11-11:50 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28

The open forums will be held in the Business and Library Hall multipurpose room. 

The new dean for the College of Education and Human Development will be chosen by the end of October, Feakes said. An announcement will be sent out through email. For any questions or concerns about the open forums, you may contact Debra Feakes at

About the Author

Genevieve Ramos
Genevieve Ramos is a junior majoring in communications at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Genevieve enjoys collecting plants, reading fantasy novels and hiking. After graduation, Genevieve hopes to work with nonprofits to spread their messages to the community.

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