CLOVIS – Dr. Gary Mitchell of Clovis has been named interim dean for the Clovis Campus of Wayland Baptist University. Mitchell has served as assistant to the dean since 2003 and is also an adjunct instructor in religion.
Mitchell replaces Dr. Carol Green, who had served the university since 1997 as dean in Clovis and left in August to pursue a job with a university in Oregon.
According to Dr. Bill Hardage, executive vice president at Wayland, Mitchell’s new role has an indefinite time frame. Currently, the report of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission is awaiting approval or rejection from Congress, and Clovis residents await the fate of Cannon Air Force Base. The report calls for Cannon to lose most or all of its planes and be open until 2009, pending determination of a new mission for the base. The final decision is expected soon, with Congress limited to 45 legislative days to make a ruling after the president’s approval. Congress can approve the report as presented, alter it or deny approval, leaving the bases as they now operate.
Hardage said even if the BRAC recommendations are accepted and Cannon closes, Wayland will not close its campus in Clovis. Currently, only about 30 percent of the student population is military, so the campus would likely only be restructured. The campus has had an off-base office site, located on East Fourth Street, for nearly four years.
“We want to express our thanks to Mitchell for assuming the leadership role on the Clovis Campus, pending final action by the BRAC committee,” Hardage said. “Dr. Mitchell is doing an outstanding job of leading the campus through this unknown time, and as the final decision is made, a determination will be made as to whether to seek a permanent dean or maintain the existing staff.”
In his assistant’s position, Mitchell managed the bookstore at the Clovis campus, handled purchases and requisitions and served as a liaison for community and church relations. Prior to coming to Wayland, Mitchell was a senior staff writer for the Clovis News Journal and a part-time instructor in religion at Clovis Community College and for Wayland. From 1979-89, he served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clovis.
Mitchell’s other journalistic experience includes service as the sports editor for the Clovis News Journal and continuity writer and director for KXTX-TV in Dallas. He has had many articles published over his career, and his honors have included the Best News Story of 1973 by the Baptist Public Relations Association and Outstanding Civilian Writer of the Year for 1994 in Air Combat Command by the U.S. Air Force. He has also had numerous awards from the New Mexico Press Association, the Panhandle Press Association.
A former student at Wayland in the 1960s, Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. He holds both the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.