Dr. Frank W. Elwell, longtime dean of Rogers State University’s School of Liberal Arts, has announced he will be returning to full-time faculty status starting August 1.
Dr. Elwell was the founding dean of the School of Liberal Arts in June 2000 as the university began its transition from a two-year to a four-year institution that year. He was the first dean hired to guide RSU’s three academic schools.
Through his leadership, Dr. Elwell recruited excellent faculty to campus and served as a mentor to several department heads, faculty, and many students. He also worked with faculty and administrators in developing new bachelor’s degree programs, as well as reviewing, evaluating, and where necessary reforming existing programs, policies, and procedures.
RSU President Dr. Larry Rice praised Dr. Elwell’s contributions to the university during the past nearly 16 years.
“Regardless of the role he filled on campus, Dr. Elwell remains a teacher at heart,” Rice said. “He excels at coaxing the best from his students and colleagues, while challenging us in ways that strengthen both the individual and the institution. We will miss his leadership as dean, but we’re extremely grateful he will remain at RSU to continue mentoring students in the years to come.”
In addition to his role as dean, Dr. Elwell has served as a professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology. He has written several books on macrosociology, social evolution, and social theory (available at most online bookstores), including his 2013 book “Sociocultural Systems: Principles of Structure and Change” that earned the Stanford M. Lyman Distinguished Book Award.
“I was originally attracted to the profession because of a love of learning, teaching, and scholarship,” Dr. Elwell said. Returning to the RSU faculty in a full-time capacity will allow him to concentrate his efforts in those areas, he said.
Dr. Elwell has been a faculty member in higher education since 1979. Before coming to RSU he served as Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Murray State University in Kentucky for 12 years, starting there as an instructor in 1979 and working his way up to full professor in 1992.
Dr. Elwell earned a bachelor’s degree in history and education at Eastern Michigan in 1971, a master’s in political science education in 1975 from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University at Albany in 1981.