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DuVall, Murphy Appointed Deans

Southwest Baptist University Provost Dr. Tracy Manly has announced the appointments of Dr. Bill DuVall and Dr. John Murphy as deans for the Geneva Casebolt College of Arts and Social Sciences and the newly formed College of Natural and Applied Sciences, respectively.

“We are blessed to have strong leaders who are committed to the university and the success of our students,” Dr. Manly said. “Both Bill and John have been exemplary faculty members at SBU and have been recognized repeatedly for their achievements here.” 

The announcements come following the retirement of Dr. Holly Hill-Stanford as dean of the Geneva Casebolt College of Arts and Sciences. As the search committee considered candidates and university leadership looked at future opportunities for growth, the decision was made to create a new college structure and appoint two deans.

The Casebolt College of Arts and Social Sciences under Dr. DuVall will be home to the divisions of Arts, Humanities, Christian Ministry and Behavioral Sciences. The divisions of Natural Sciences, Kinesiology and Physical Therapy will operate under Dr. Murphy and the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Establishing a College of Natural and Applied Sciences positions SBU to be a leader in these fields by enhancing and expanding program offerings to meet the demands of students,” SBU President Dr. Rick Melson said. “I’m excited for what’s ahead in these programs and for the innovative leadership that Dr. Murphy will bring to them, as well as the excellence and innovation that Dr. DuVall will bring to arts and social sciences.”

Dr. DuVall has been at SBU since 2015 and currently serves as Associate Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of the Blair Center for Training and Pastoral Health. He has received the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher award and the Faculty Life Beautiful award, and his research has focused on faith identity development among emerging adults.

Dr. Murphy has taught at SBU for nine years, currently serving as dead of the Division of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology. He is a research advisor to an undergraduate research lab through which students have successfully written 18 grants, published and presented 22 research projects and received two national awards. He has received the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award, the Faculty Life Beautiful award, the Science and Christian Faith award and been named New Faculty of the Year.

Griffith Named Interim Division Head

Dr. Ryan Griffith has been appointed interim division head for the Redford Division of Christian Ministry. Dr. Griffith currently serves SBU as Chief of Staff, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Associate Professor of Christian Ministry.

He has previously worked in faculty roles at Indianapolis Theological Seminary, Bethlehem College and Seminary, University of Northwestern-St. Paul and The Bethlehem Institute. At Bethlehem College and Seminary, he also served as the founding Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Integrated Curriculum.