An honors laureate is accompanied by Provost Nowell Donovan (left). Photo courtesy of Lauren Nixon of the Honors College.

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The search for the new dean of the John V. Roach Honors College is underway.

In order to attract professionals from around the country, the position has been posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The new dean will be appointed by mid-April 2016, said Dr. Robert Garnett, chairman of the search committee and the economics department.

The search committee is comprised of 18 members.

Dean Andrew Schoolmaster from AddRan College of Liberal Arts and Dean Mary Patton from the College of Education are notable members of the search committee. There are also two honors students, seniors Francesca Roberts and Joshua Blankenship.

The remainder of the search committee is comprised of faculty and staff from across the university.

In 2014, the founding dean of the honors college, Peggy Watson, resigned and left a vacancy that has since been filled by acting dean Sarah Robbins.

Garnett said that the honors college has experienced tremendous growth since in its inauguration in 2009.

“The latest numbers we have say that close to 1,200 students are involved in the honors college,” Garnett said. “That’s a lot.”

Search committee member Fransesca Roberts said that she has had a positive experience since she began as an honors student.

“I’ve had the opportunity to take honors classes in a variety of subjects outside of my major,” Roberts said. “I would not have taken these classes were I not in the honors college, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to expand my horizons and learn from some exceptional professors.”