Kent Eaton arrived at Simpson in July 2016 to begin what was supposed to begin a temporary role as Interim Senior Vice President and Academic Dean as the search continued for a permanent replacement.
That search is over. And you can remove the word “interim” from Eaton’s title.
Simpson President Jay Simmons announced to the campus community that Eaton would be taking over the permanent role after a national search.
“I am deeply indebted that he chose to participate in our search or an individual to assume the continuing appointment,” Simmons said. “Based on the response of the search committee and the community through the candidate survey, I know that this is a view widely held across the campus.”
Simmons continued: “Since last summer, all of us have been impressed by Dean Eaton’s erudition, intercultural capacity, and grounding in the arts and sciences. He has given fair and decisive leadership in a variety of areas, and being a presence in all aspects of campus life. We are fortunate to have as our chief academic officer an individual of this caliber.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Texas Christian University, Dr. Eaton earned a Masters of Theology in Historical Theology at the Dallas Seminary. His diploma in Estudios Hispánicos (Hispanic Studies) was granted by the Universidad de Barcelona. The University of Wales at Lampeter awarded Dr. Eaton his Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies for his research in Church History.
Dean Eaton will also return to the classroom, agreeing to teach a course for a year. Simmons said he will carry the additional title of professor of religion in a non-tenured role.
Eaton told The Simpsonian, the student newspaper, why he decided to apply to serve as Senior Vice President and Academic Dean:
“One reason I found Simpson to be an exciting place to work was the wonderful faculty and staff I get to work with,” he said. “I think that the students that come here are exceptional, in terms of their commitment to, not only studying but to issues relating to social justice and to being active and engaged citizens.”
He added, “I would just say that this is a difficult time for many small liberal arts colleges like Simpson because of the economic pressure that we face and the declining enrollments. But I truly believe that the future for Simpson is bright because there is a strong creative component to all that we do, and there is a hopeful entrepreneurial spirit that I don’t always see at other institutions. It’s an exciting time to be at Simpson.”