C&IS dean to retire after 31 years at UA

Grace Schepis | @GraceSchepisCW, Staff Reporter

Mark Nelson, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, will retire in June 2022 after 31 years at UA and 8 years as dean. 

Nelson began as communications studies faculty in 1991 and has since served as associate dean, associate provost and the dual position of vice provost for academic affairs and vice president for student affairs. 

“Dean Nelson’s far-reaching contributions over his 31 years at UA have led the College of Communication & Information Sciences to new heights in teaching, research and service,” UA Provost James Dalton said. “He will be missed by faculty, staff, and students alike.”

Outside of the classroom, Nelson was granted the National Alumni Association’s Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award, the Knox Hagood Outstanding Faculty Award, the John L. Blackburn Outstanding Advisor Award and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. 

For UA’s $1.5 billion Rising Tide Capital Campaign, Nelson’s college was one of eight UA units that met their fundraising goal early, receiving $25 million five years ahead of schedule. The College of C&IS recently received the largest gift in its history: $10 million from the Holle Family in honor of Brig. Gen. Everett Holle, a member of the C&IS Hall of Fame, and his parents, Evelyn and Fred Holle. 

Jennafer Bowman, president of the C&IS Student Executive Council, has worked closely with Nelson. 

“Dean Nelson always had a positive attitude and seemed like he genuinely enjoyed interacting with students, especially the Student Executive Council,” Bowman said. “In my short time being involved in the SEC, Dean Nelson reached out to us many times to get our organization’s opinions on college matters like the strategic plan. He’ll be greatly missed.”

The College of Engineering announced its search for a new dean on Oct. 12, two months after W. Edward Back was named interim dean. The search committee includes professors from various engineering departments, college financial officials, and others appointed by UA President Stuart Bell. 

Dalton will provide more information about the search for C&IS dean as details become available.