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Social work dept. gets new chairwoman

Feb. 14, 2001

By STEPHEN DOVE

Reporter

Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. named a new chairwoman to Baylor's school of social work Tuesday.

Dr. Diana Garland, currently the director of graduate programs in the school of social work, will become the school's second chair when she succeeds Dr. Preston Dyer on June 1.

Dyer, who will return to full-time teaching next semester, was director of Baylor's division of social work when Garland was hired in 1997.

Dyer said Garland was brought to Baylor to facilitate the start of a graduate program in social work and that, in his mind, she was the best choice to succeed him.

'One of our reasons for hiring Dr. Garland was that she was the former dean of the Carver School of Social Work [at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary],' Dyer said. 'She is also one of the leading experts in the nation on church social work and family ministries.'

Dyer said the transition was expected, and he looks forward to teaching full time. Dyer came to Baylor in 1969 to begin the social work program and agreed to serve as director of the school of social work when it was founded in 1998. Dyer said he wanted to move into full-time teaching before his expected retirement in 2005.

Garland played a leading role in developing Baylor's 2-year-old graduate level social work program and has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at Baylor.

Students contacted by The Lariat Tuesday were not aware of Garland's appointment. However, they said they were pleased she was chosen for the post.

'She is a wonderful professor, and I think she is very qualified for the position,' said Carol McEntyre, a social work graduate student. 'I am just surprised that it happened. We didn't even know this was an option.'

Social work graduate student Chris Fresquez also said he was confident in Garland's ability to lead the social work program at Baylor.

'I definitely think she brings a lot to the program,' Fresquez said. 'Her research experience will do a lot for the school. If Baylor wants to go with the inclusion of faith with practice, she is an excellent choice for the job.'

Garland was unavailable for comment.