New VP of Academic Affairs and Dean for College of Arts and Sciences at Converse
Converse College has named Dr. Jeffrey H. Barker as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Barker began his duties at Converse on July 1,2002, and serves as the chief academic officer for the college and directing the College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies program.
“My family and I are very pleased to be joining the Converse and Spartanburg communities,” Barker said. “I look forward to working with everyone at Converse as we build upon the school’s proud tradition of excellence in academics.”
In making the announcement, Converse President Nancy Oliver Gray said, “After a thorough national search that yielded excellent candidates from across the country, we are confident that Dr. Barker is the very best person for this leadership position.” Barker replaces Dean Joe Ann Lever, who retired after forty years of service to Converse as a faculty member in the biology department since 1962 and as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences since 1994. He also takes over the role of Vice President for Academic Affairs from Dr. Tom McDaniel, who has been promoted to the new role of Senior Vice President.
Before coming to Converse, Dean Barker served at Albright College in Reading, Pa., as chairperson and professor for the college’s department of philosophy. He was also director of the Albright Center for Ethics, Law, and Medicine and director of the Accelerated Degree Start Program. Under his leadership, Albright completed a comprehensive self-study and strategic planning effort, which included re-accreditation. Dr. Barker graduated with honors from California State University where he majored in history and philosophy. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University.