The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

June 8, 2013

SHSU chooses new Fine Arts, Mass Communications dean

HUNTSVILLE — Ronald E. Shields, a former chair of the Department of Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, has been chosen the dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University, effective July 1.

Shields served as professor and chair of the department for 17 years, during which he was recognized for his leadership, research, creative work, service and teaching.

“We are so delighted that Ronald Shields is joining the academic leadership team at Sam Houston State University,” said Jaimie Hebert, SHSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication consists of many vibrant, high quality programs that have grown and matured through the efforts of dedicated faculty, administrators and very talented students. Dean Shields will bring vast, positive administrative experiences within the arts community to this great college.

“Coupling his experience, and the quality of the college, with a vision of generating synergism among these programs and promoting the college image to the larger community, I cannot overemphasize my confidence in the inevitable success he will have taking the college to the next level,” Hebert said.   

A graduate of the doctoral program at Louisiana State University, Shields played a key role in building internal and external support for the arts at BGSU, including the opening of a new performing arts center in 2012, the designation of "the arts" as a Center of Excellence at BGSU, and the cultivation of diversity, interdisciplinary programs, as well as expanded curricular offerings.  

His creative work and scholarship has been honored with several awards, including the Leslie Irene Coger Award for Outstanding Creative Work, for directing baroque opera and Shakespeare, and the Outstanding Performance Studies and Theatre Scholar Award from the membership of the Central States Communication Association, for his publications on opera and performance, cultural studies and visual rhetoric.

He fulfilled two terms as editor of the nation's oldest professional performance journal, Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance Studies, published by the College of William and Mary and continues to serve as an associate editor for that journal and Text and Performance Quarterly, an international journal published by Francis and Taylor and the National Communication Association.  

His ongoing professional service appointments include membership on the executive committee of the National Communication Association and as chair of the finance board for that organization.

“I am honored to be selected as dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University, an institution known for leadership in education, engagement with the community, and excellence in the study and practice of the arts and mass communication,” Shields said.  “My immediate plan is to begin the work of partnering with the college faculty and staff to advance the goals and mission of the university and prepare our students for the future.

Shield said he and his wife, Renee, are eager to make connections with the community and to make Texas their new home.

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