Wichita Falls campus director named president of military education organization

May 24, 2011

WICHITA FALLS – Dr. Dean Daniel, executive director and campus dean at Wayland Baptist University in Wichita Falls has been named president of COMETS for 2011-12.

Daniel was installed at the 19th Annual Conference of COMETS, which stands for the Council on Military Education in Texas and the South, held April 11-13 in Oklahoma City. The organization was founded in 1992 to promote and support quality education programs available to military personnel, their dependents and Department of Defense civilians stationed within Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The group exists to develop relationships and handle issues that jointly affect military personnel and families, college educators and professional organizations concerned with academic and vocational education. They also work with government and academic organizations to support purposes of COMETS and recognize achievements of those who contribute to the advancement of education in the four-state region.

Daniel served as president-elect during the 2010-11 year on a board that also included treasurer Dr. Jim Antenen, Wayland’s executive director and campus dean in San Antonio. He succeeds Rita Russ, dean of the Virtual University for the University of the Incarnate Word. The president-elect serves primarily as the program chairman for the conference.

“COMETS is really a meeting place for people who are interested in military education. It allows us to solve common issues on a one-on-one basis and we have interaction with the military and civilian leaders that impact what we’re trying to do out in the field,” Daniel said. “It’s an important organization for Wayland to be part of, and I’m glad to be involved in it. We did a lot of great things last year to increase our presence and I hope to maintain that momentum for the coming year.”

An employee of Wayland since November 2004, Daniel is also an associate professor of education at Wayland. He earned an associate’s degree from Weatherford College and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He received a Master of Arts in Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University.

He first came to work for Wayland as dean of the Altus, Okla., campus, moving into the leadership role in Wichita Falls in November 2006 when then-dean Dr. Elane Seebo moved into administration at the home campus in Plainview. He has been involved in COMETS for five years.

“This is a particularly important time to be involved in the organization,” noted Seebo, vice president of external campuses and graduate services. “There are so many changes going on in higher education and in the military system in terms of their opportunities and the benefits they receive.”

Seebo noted that while there are a number of state organizations that deal with military education issues, the COMETS group is one of the few that cover four states. The leaders of those groups also gather as the Council of College and Military Educators, Seebo said, so Daniel will represent the region’s interest at the national level at the conference in February 2012.

The Wichita Falls campus is one of 13 in the Wayland system, serving a total of 6,385 students system-wide. Located on Sheppard Air Force Base and with an office at Call Field Center, the Wichita Falls campus serves approximately 350 students. Like many of Wayland’s external campuses, the population is predominantly military and adult students returning to finish an education after being away from school. The campus offers courses primarily on evenings and weekends to accommodate working adults.