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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Nelson Named Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG - 05/24/2007 - Following a national search, University of Central Missouri has named Gersham A. Nelson, Ph.D., Canton, MI, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Comes to UCM from Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Gersham A. Nelson

Dr. Gersham A. Nelson

Nelson has more than 25 years of experience in higher education administration, teaching and outreach. He has served since 2005 as executive associate to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

"I am very pleased that Dr. Nelson will join our Academic Affairs leadership team. He has considerable experience in academic administration and an outstanding record as a teacher and scholar in his discipline," said George Wilson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at UCM. "Dr. Nelson has much to contribute, and I look forward to working with him."

Goal is Continued Pursuit of Academic Excellence

Nelson said he is delighted to join the university, and to help the institution pursue its vision. His goal as dean is to work with department chairs, faculty and staff to maintain a nurturing work/study environment in which the institution, along with its students, will pursue excellence through ongoing improvement.

"Understanding the critical nature of our mission and the large number of stake holders who have vested interest in our success, it is my intention to reach out to create and strengthen partnerships that will advance the interest and goals of our students and faculty," he said. "This outreach will not be limited to the arts and humanities communities but also relevant social/political/economic organizations along with our alumni and friends."

Striving Toward a Common Vision

Nelson said he looks forward to "becoming better acquainted with all our team members, gaining a keener sense of how each can be supported to achieve personal, college, and institutional goals, and channeling energy and resources towards a common vision."

Background in History

Nelson joined EMU in 1997 as professor and head of the Department of History and Philosophy, where he administered undergraduate and graduate programs involving more than 850 majors and 50 faculty members and lecturers. Among his many achievements, he developed collaboration with K-12 schools, offering in-service education and training to teachers through annual seminars and workshops in history and social sciences. He also developed four endowed scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students in the department; developed assessment instruments for graduate and undergraduate programs; undertook the veterans of WWII oral history project in collaboration with the Library of Congress; provided workshops in use of instructional technology; and introduced the heritage lecture series.

In addition to his full-time responsibilities at EMU, he had an American Council on Education Fellowship that allowed him to work with the president of Iowa State University, Ames, on a self-study for accreditation, and expanded expertise in strategic planning, resource management and institutional effectiveness.

Veteran Educator at Frostburg State University

Prior to joining EMU, Nelson worked from1987-1997 at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD, where he climbed the faculty ranks from lecturer to associate professor, and served for four years as chair of the Department of History. He also was a lecturer at Illinois Benedictine College, Lisle, IL, 1985-1987, and at Columbia College, Chicago, 1982-1987.

His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and history at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; master’s degree in African history and doctorate in Latin American history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nelson is a prolific researcher, and has served as a guest lecturer and made numerous presentations before professional groups at other colleges and universities in the United States.