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FMU announces administrative appointments

Francis Marion University has announced four administrative appointments, effective immediately.

Dr. Pamela A. Rooks, Dr. John Tuttle, Dr. J. Mark Blackwell and Professor D. Keith Best have all been appointed to new administrative roles at Francis Marion University.

“These are terrific faculty members. They are outstanding teachers, scholars, and administrators. I look forward to working with all of them,” said FMU Provost Dr. Richard Chapman.

Dr. Pamela A. Rooks, Professor of English and formerly director of the Honors Program, will assume the role of director of the Gender Studies Program.

The Gender Studies Program at FMU provides an inter-disciplinary approach to the human condition that emphasizes gender awareness. The Gender Studies minor and collateral are intended for students who wish to understand the role of gender in the development of legal, political, economic, social,, and cultural systems.

A native of Durham, N.C., Rooks has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1989. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, in 1975, and a doctorate in English literature from the University of York - Heslington, in York, England in 1982.

Dr. John Tuttle, Professor and English and formerly Coordinator of International Programs, will serve as director of the FMU Honors Program.

The Honors Program at FMU promotes an intellectually engaged and vibrant community of students, staff, and faculty. Honors classes in many different disciplines bring together exceptional students and faculty in small classes that stress critical and creative thought and discussion. Students completing the requirements of the Honors Program graduate “with University honors.”

Tuttle joined the FMU faculty in 1990. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Utah, and master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of New Mexico, where he also taught.  He also earned a certificate in modern British literature and culture from Edinburgh University in Scotland. 

Dr. J. Mark Blackwell, Associate Professor of Philosophy, will now serve as the International Programs director.

The director of International Programs oversees exchanges with partner universities in Germany, France, Britain, Ireland, and Canada. These exchange agreements make it possible for FMU students to study abroad at a partner institution. In addition, the International Programs director coordinates the international studies minor and collateral, both of which serve students who are interested in international politics and economics.

He earned the B.A. degree in English from George Mason University, the Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and earned the Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield (England).

D. Keith Best, Professor of Theatre Arts, will serve as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

As associate dean, Best’s responsibilities will include working with department chairs and assisting the Dean in overseeing the College’s academic programs. Professor Best will also assist in the development and coordination of initiatives originating in the Dean’s Office. 

A native of Valdosta, Ga., Best arrived at FMU in 1993 upon earning the master of fine arts in theatre at the University of Louisville in 1993 and the bachelor of fine arts in theatre from Valdosta State University in 1986. For four years he served as chair of the faculty and was a member of the faculty senate for 11 years prior to serving as secretary and vice-chairman of the senate.


Last Published: February 1, 2013 7:59 AM
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