Vice President Pruitt Announces Leadership Changes in Council on Community-Based Partnerships


By Taylor Armer, CCBP Graduate Assistant
Photos by Peter Mullins, CCBP Student Assistant

Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs, announced changes in the Executive Committee of the Council on Community-Based Partnerships at the February 11, 2016 meeting in Capital Hall.

Dr. Peter S. Hlebowitsh, dean of the College of Education, will replace Dr. David Francko, dean of the Graduate School, as chair of CCBP Executive Committee effective June 1. Dean Francko is stepping down as associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Graduate School, but will continue representing the University in Ohio doing recruiting and other assignments.

“Dean Francko has been a tremendous asset to the leadership in the field of engagement scholarship on our campus,” said Pruitt in announcing the changes. “As dean of the Graduate School and as inaugural chair of the Executive Committee of the CCBP Council, Dean Francko has solidified engagement scholarship as a legitimate field in which scholars can map out their tenure and promotion plans with assurance their work will be recognized. We are a more balanced institution because of Dean Francko’s leadership.”

“And now we are pleased to welcome his successor, Dean Peter Hlebowitsh of the College of Education, beginning June 1,” Pruitt said.

Hlebowitsh has been education dean since 2013, succeeding Dr. James E. McLean, who in retirement is executive director of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “We expect the same progress in this exciting field under Dean Hlebowitsch as we experienced under Dean Francko,” Pruitt said.

In succeeding Francko as chair of the CCBP Executive Committee, Hlebowitsch acknowledged he had a tough act to follow, but expressed optimism about the future of the engagement scholarship movement on our campus, saying that “the Community-Based Partnership group offers the prospect of merging good research with public engagement and of bringing important resources and insights to the task of helping communities and families. It is a socially empowered group with an exciting agenda and I very much look forward to working with them.”

In other changes:

  • Dr. Rebecca S. Allen, professor of psychology and director, Alabama Research Institute on Aging, becomes head of the Faculty Teaching Committee, succeeding Dr. Pauline Johnson, professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.
  • Amanda Waller, executive director of Tuscaloosa One Place, succeeds Rev. Tyshawn Gardner as the chair of the Community Partner Support Committee.
  • Calia Torres, graduate student in psychology, and Tera Johnson, a junior majoring in biology, become co-chairs of the Student Involvement Committee, replacing Adam Bonertz, a senior in the School of Nursing.

Remaining on the Executive Committee are Dr. Laurie Bonnici, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Studies, chair of the Proposal and Seed Funding Support Committee; Dr. George Daniels, associate professor of journalism and assistant dean in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, chair of the Excellence in Community Engagement Recognition Committee; and Dr. Jen Nickelson, associate professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, chair of the Academic Conference and Presentation Committee.

The purpose of the Council on Community-Based Partnerships is to provide faculty, student, and community leadership and direction for all engagement scholarship activities under the auspices of the Division of Community Affairs.

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