Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Texas Christian University, has appointed Reginald A. Wilburn, Ph.D., dean for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, beginning December 31, 2021.
“Dr. Wilburn’s experience in visionary strategic planning, collaborative leadership, transparency, entrepreneurial thinking and shared governance, combined with the high regard in which he is held among his colleagues and students, will bring a decided advantage to the School for Interdisciplinary Studies and bolster TCU’s goals to make it into a premier institution of intellectual inquiry,” Dahlberg said.
Wilburn comes to TCU from the University of New Hampshire, where he was associate professor of English and served as associate dean of academic affairs for the College of Liberal Arts, with 410 full-time faculty, 16 departments, 5 interdisciplinary programs, 250 majors and minors, 19 graduate programs, and four divisions. In his role he inspired and actualized collaborative buy-in among faculty, staff, students and alumni, with a focus on sophomore retention university-wide, student retention in the liberal arts, signature program development, and curriculum development, enrichment and management.
Wilburn’s accomplishments are highlighted by visionary strategic planning, transparent decision making, effective shared governance, and championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness as central to innovating and enhancing an organization’s mission. His career began in the United States Marine Corps, followed by roles as a faculty team leader and curriculum coordinator for the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers from 2003 to 2017. He has been honored with the UNH Center for Humanities Faculty Fellowship, Leadership Fellow for the AGB Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education, UNH Faculty Award for Social Justice, and President’s Commission on the Status of Women Faculty Award.
Examples of his success include managing the effective college-wide NEASC accreditation processes with 19 department chairs, and coordinating and overseeing agreements between the College of Liberal Arts and the New Hampshire Community College system to support a Mellon-funded grant to solidify educational pipelines between transferring community college students and the College. He also helped innovate the College’s curriculum by inspiring and co-leading department chairs and faculty teams in English and philosophy to co-create five academic programs.
“It will be my honor to serve as Dean for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, where solving today’s and tomorrow’s grand challenges benefit from an expertise of multiple intertwined interests in knowledge,” Wilburn said. “Every day, SIS students, faculty and staff brave new worlds of intellectual inquiry, service and activism. Their efforts combine to make global society a much better place, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic in joining and supporting them in these ennobling and enterprising efforts.”
As dean, Wilburn will capitalize on the strengths of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and advocate for its units while working across campus and respecting the contributions of all. He will champion projects that break down barriers and advance symbiotic campus-community relationships to foster connections among students, staff, faculty and alumni.
Wilburn earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut, and his B.A. in English from the University of the District of Columbia.