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Experienced University leader appointed CHST interim dean

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WARRENSBURG — With the retirement of longtime Dean of the College of Health, Science and Technology Alice Geife, Ph.D., the University of Central Missouri is turning to an experienced and collegial leader to fill her post on an interim basis.

Greife, who had a 25-year career at UCM including the last 18 years as dean, officially retires from her post on June 30.

As the university looks to the future, Phil Bridgmon, Ph.D., UCM provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced June 2 the appointment of Weldon Spring, Missouri resident Mark Arant, Ph.D., as interim dean, while the university conducts a search.

Arant, a longtime educator with teaching and administrative experience, comes to UCM after serving most recently as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. 

Arant officially begins his interim post at UCM on July 1.

“Dr. Arant is a highly regarded, insightful, and strategic leader. He is deeply committed to the success of his colleagues and students. I look forward to his service to UCM as the interim dean in CHST,” Bridgmon said.

Arant has a doctorate in organic chemistry from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and received a bachelor of science in chemistry from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.

Arant’s professional career in higher education includes serving as an assistant and associate professor of chemistry from August 1994 to July 2004 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he also advanced to the position of associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and served at that post from July 2004 to July 2006.

Arant spent a year as interim dean at the University of Louisiana, and in July 2008 he became the dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith.

While serving at the University of Arkansas, Arant’s leadership skills were also employed as interim dean of the College of Education for approximately one year.

In July 2014, Arant joined Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as provost and vice president for academic affairs, followed by two years at the same position at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

While at Lindenwood, Arant contributed to many initiatives, including the development of an organization plan for academic affairs, launching development of a co-curricular transcript, initiating the council of deans and directors, co-chairing the strategy taskforce for development of Lindenwood’s strategic plan, establishing transfer agreements with three other institutions including a university in Australia, implementation of instructional strategies for COVID-19 in the fall 2020 semester, and launching an evaluation of opportunities to improve sustainability.

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