University of Fort Smith hires first dean of newly formed college

FORT SMITH – The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has hired D. Antonio “Dean” Cantu as the first dean of the College of Health, Education and Humanities.

Cantu, 60, is associate dean and director of the Department of Education, Counseling, and Leadership at Bradley University, a private university with nearly 6,000 students in Peoria, Illinois. He is also a researcher at the Future Institute Research Center.

At Bradley, where he worked for 13 years, he led initiatives that included merging separate university departments into a single unit and developing and implementing a five-year departmental plan.

UAFS Provost Georgia Hale cited the merger as one of the reasons for Cantu’s hiring, saying in a press release that his experience “will be very valuable as he will work with the department leadership, faculty and staff at this. newly formed college “.

The College of Health, Education and Humanities was born out of a university reorganization that UAFS Chancellor Terisa Riley announced on April 12 to reduce the number of colleges from five to three. , among others.

The university had a College of Applied Science and Technology; College of Business; College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences; College of Health Sciences; and College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The new model includes the College of Health, Education and Humanities; the College of Business and Industry; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The College of Health, Education and Humanities has existed since July 1 with Lynn Korvick as interim dean. The university did a nationwide search to find the college’s inaugural dean.

Cantu previously worked at Indiana University at Kokomo, located about 100 km north of Indianapolis, and Ball State University in Muncie, a city in east-central Indiana. Prior to that, he was an intelligence officer for the military.

He holds a PhD in Curriculum and Teaching from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., And three degrees from Arkansas State University – an Education Specialist Diploma in Community Teaching, a master of arts in history and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. education. In addition, he holds an Associate’s Degree in Social Sciences from Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois.

“It’s a homecoming for my wife, Sandy, and me because Arkansas is where she was born and raised, where we met as college students and where we got married.” , he said in the press release.

Cantu, 60, will begin his new job at UAFS on February 1. He will receive a salary of $ 178,000, according to a spokesperson for the university.

The university, with approximately 5,444 students, is Arkansas’ sixth largest public institution of higher education and is based in the state’s third largest city.

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