STEPHENVILLE (October 24, 2019) — Dr. Michael Huggins has been named dean of Tarleton State University’s College of Science and Technology, effective Jan. 13, 2020. He served in a similar position at the University of West Florida, where he now teaches in the Department of Chemistry and leads research focused on the synthesis of organic molecules.
He replaces Dr. James Pierce, who’s retiring at year’s end. Acting dean until Jan. 13 will be Dr. Denise Martinez, associate dean of Tarleton’s School of Engineering.
“Dr. Huggins has a proven enthusiasm for supporting students in their academic pursuits and a curiosity for science and discovery that extends beyond his own discipline,” said Dr. Karen Murray, Tarleton provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
“He brings vast experience as a leader, collaborator and research scientist, working with national industries, agencies and organizations to secure almost $3 million in grants and contracts. That experience will serve Tarleton well in extending its reach beyond our community.”
Huggins received numerous awards and fellowships at UWF, including the University Faculty Distinguished Service Award and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award. His research has been published in multiple books and professional journals, with many of his students as co-authors.
While dean of UWF’s College of Science and Engineering, he was instrumental in creating a summer undergraduate research program that enabled more than 50 students to work closely with faculty mentors on projects in their field.
“I am excited to join the Tarleton team,” Huggins said. “I look forward to working with faculty and staff to continue creating STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives that support College of Science and Technology students and ensure their success at the university and beyond.”
Huggins began his career at UWF in 2002 as an assistant professor of chemistry and worked his way up to department chair; interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Health; and founding dean of the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UWF and his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin.
He is a member of the American Chemical Association.
For more information on Tarleton State University’s College of Science and Technology, visit www.tarleton.edu/COST.