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Two faculty fill posts as interim deans of new colleges

July 30, 2002

Two Austin Peay faculty have been appointed interim college deans. They will serve until full-time deans can be selected through a nationwide search.

Dr. Jim Diehr, professor of art, assumed the responsibilities of interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Dr. Don Luck, associate professor of education, has been named interim dean of the College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences.

Diehr earned a doctorate in 1978 from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He received his BFA, master's degree and Ed.S. from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. During 1964-65, he studied at the Pratt Institute in New York City.

A Fulbright Scholar who taught at the Trent Polytechnic Institute in Nottingham, England, in 1981 and in Len Fen, China in 1990, Diehr joined the APSU faculty as chair of the art department in 1981 and was re-appointed for a second term in 1986.

Diehr is a renowned artist, perhaps best known on campus for his sculpture, The Gateway, which stands in front of Browning Building. He also crafted the University's mace, which is used during commencement and inauguration ceremonies.

Among his community and campus activities, Diehr served as president of the Faculty Senate in 2000-01, a challenging year during which APSU was rebounding from the destruction of the Jan. 22, 1999, tornado.

Dr. Bruce Speck, vice president for academic affairs, said, "I'm delighted Jim has agreed to serve as interim dean of the new College of Arts and Letters. In addition to being a faculty member for many years, he has served as president of the Faculty Senate and chair of the art department, so he has a wealth of academic experience.

"He knows how to relate to faculty and understands their concerns. He also has strong administrative skills, so he brings to the dean's position a fine blend of qualities that will enable him to serve Austin Peay well."

Luck earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and a master's degree in secondary administration from the University of Northern Iowa. His bachelor's degree in history is from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa.

He joined the APSU department of education in 1992, after a stint as computer facilitator at the University of Northern Iowa. The Claxton Building's then-new, cutting-edge "21st Century Classrooms," which are used to teach student-teachers how to integrate technology into their teaching once they have their own classrooms, was one reason Luck decided to come to APSU.

Since his arrival, he has worked at integrating technology into University courses, led the development of master's and Ed.S. programs involving instructional technology, as well as teaching in numerous areas within the School of Education. He developed and taught courses in multimedia, video and Internet design and use in education, as well as courses in educational administration and curriculum and instruction.

Luck is a lifetime member of the National Social Science Association, serving on its board of directors and executive board. He also has served as the association's Webmaster for the past five years. Luck recently served as chair of APSU's Technology Committee.

He has had many articles published and made numerous presentations that deal, primarily, with the World Wide Web and the use of technology in teacher education.

Currently, he is working with the Memories of Service and Sacrifice community program, developing means of gathering and sharing data on local veterans.

Speaking of Luck's appointment, Speck said, "Even in his short tenure as dean of the College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences, Don has demonstrated that he has a keen desire to work effectively with chairs and faculty. He is a quick study, and I'm pleased he accepted the dean's position at a critical juncture in the new college's history."