Richard Fallis, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Daisy Hurst Floyd, dean of the Walter F. George School of Law, announced recently that they will return to full-time teaching at the end of the academic year. Dean Fallis announced on Sept. 14 that he would retire as dean and – following a sabbatical – return to his faculty position in English. On Sept. 24, Dean Floyd announced that she would step down as dean to become University Professor of Law and Ethical Formation following a sabbatical.
Dr. Fallis has served as dean of CLA for eight years and holds a faculty appointment in English in the College. In regards to his years as dean, Fallis said, “I think the most important things a dean can do are build and support faculty and press for the richest learning environment possible for students. Both of those really depend so much on faculty members and students that no dean should take too much credit. But even with some growing pains, CLA seems to me even better now than it was in 2001, so I’m satisfied.”
“Mercer University is indebted to Rich Fallis for the wise, collaborative and effective leadership he has provided the College of Liberal Arts over the past eight years,” said President William D. Underwood. “I am grateful that he will continue to serve Mercer and its students in the classroom, which is the highest calling for an academic.”
Dr. Fallis noted that he is eager to return to the classroom. “Teaching is the heart of our work in the College, and I look forward to being back in the classroom full time,” he said.
Dr. Fallis earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton. He began his professional career at Syracuse University and taught there for 24 years. In 1995, he went to Belmont University as professor of English and dean of the School of Humanities/Education. In 1999, he became the founding dean of Belmont’s College of Arts and Sciences. The author of a history of modern Irish literature, he is founding editor of the “Irish Studies Series” from the Syracuse University Press and more than 60 books were published under his direction.
Dean Floyd has served as professor of law and dean at Mercer since July 2004. She came to the University from Texas Tech University School of Law, where she was a member of the faculty from 1990-2004 and served as associate dean for academic affairs for more than seven years. She received a B.A. summa cum laude and M.A. in Political Science from Emory University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as articles editor of the Georgia Law Review.
“It has been an exceptional privilege to serve as dean of Mercer Law School. I am proud of the accomplishments achieved during my tenure as dean and grateful for the hard work of the faculty, staff and students who have made those accomplishments possible,” Floyd said. “I am excited about this next phase of my career and being a part of Mercer’s future in a new role.”
In her new role as University Professor of Law and Ethical Formation, Floyd will lead the University in collaborations between undergraduate and professional education to prepare students for lives of purpose and responsibility. She will build upon her work with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which has focused on the formation of ethical identity in law students and the relationship between liberal arts and professional education.
“Daisy Floyd has become one of our most respected deans and academic leaders. I have come to admire her leadership skills, respect her strength of character, and value her friendship and her many and varied contributions to the life of the University,” said President Underwood. “While the University will be poorer for its loss of her leadership as dean of the School of Law, we will be enriched by the contributions she will make in her exciting new role as University Professor of Law and Ethical Formation.”