By MacKenzie Hall, News Editor
September 30, 2021
This academic year brings new leadership to the Pruet School of Christian Studies and Sutton School of Social Sciences. Both schools welcomed new deans, Dr. Jeremy Greer, dean for Christian Studies, and Dr. Kevin Motl, interim dean for Social Sciences.
As Ouachita settles into another year, the deans have been adapting to their new roles leading faculty and students.
Both Greer and Motl are no strangers to Ouachita. Greer graduated from OBU in 1998 and returned to teach in 2007 as an adjunct and visiting professor. Motl, although a Texas A&M Aggie, has been a history professor at Ouachita for 15 years. Serving as a dean is new for both professors, and they are thankful for the opportunities that come with the job.
“People are just fantastic,” Greer said. “Everyone is very supportive, encouraging, eager to help in whatever way possible. It’s the most supportive environment. As for the work, it has been a challenge, but it has been a great deal of fun. It’s something new all the time, stretching experiences and opportunities to learn and grow.”
Motl views his responsibilities as a way to better the university and cast vision for the future.
“The thing I am excited about the most is the way I get to work with people at Ouachita in different ways,” Motl said. “The capacity to be able to work with the Dean’s Council to develop coherent and effective strategic vision for the future of the institution, solve problems and make Ouachita better for all involved.”
Deans are able to greatly influence students as they encourage and guide them during their time at Ouachita. For Greer, he hopes to influence student transformation.
“The Lord is in the transformation business, and he chooses to let us be agents in that process. I hope to sustain a culture in our school in which the Lord is working to transform students to be and do what He desires them to be and do,” Greer said.
Motl wishes to look for ways to develop programs for students as the school responds to the everchanging higher education business.
“I want the Sutton School to be hungry looking for ways to develop programs, graduate or undergraduate, and modify existing programs for students,” Motl said. “Our goal is the same as the university, we want to increase the quality of education and prepare our students for the real world.”
As the deans continue to manage their new responsibilities and learn along the way, they are surrounded by support and honored to represent Ouachita within their schools.
“The workload has been intense, and the learning curve steep, of course, but the support I have received thus far has made me feel capable of anything,” Greer said.
“I am really honored to have this opportunity. I am following in the path of iconic faculty to work on this campus. It’s a high honor to me to even sit in the same space they occupied, and to have a hand in the future of Sutton, the faculty and students,” Motl said. “I feel really blessed by it.”