Nordt Appointed Dean of College of Arts and Sciences

April 19, 2007
News Photo 4037Lee Nordt

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Dr. Randall O'Brien, executive vice president and provost at Baylor University, has announced the appointment of Dr. Lee C. Nordt as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the university's largest academic unit with 26 departments. Nordt, an associate professor of geology who currently serves as the college's interim dean, will start his duties immediately.

"Our Dean Search Committee, utilizing the services of Academic Search Inc., conducted a nationwide search for the finest available candidates for dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Foremost in the charge to the committee was the mandate to find a dean thoroughly committed to the Baylor 2012 Vision. Today we are pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Nordt as dean of the College," O'Brien said. "While serving as interim dean the past two years, Dr. Nordt has distinguished himself as a highly effective administrator. It is indeed a joy to welcome a researcher, scholar-teacher, committed Christian and mentor to the office of the dean."

"The search committee has seen how central the College of Arts and Sciences is to Baylor's mission, and Dr. Nordt is a scholar-teacher with the administrative experience and commitment to lead the College forward with the goals of Baylor 2012 in mind," said Dr. William H. Bellinger Jr., professor and chair of religion and The W. Marshall and Lulie Craig Chairholder in Bible, who also chaired the College of Arts and Sciences Dean Search Committee. "His experience as Interim Dean will make possible an immediate impact in the College. Dr. Nordt has been a trustworthy and steady presence in the Dean's Office and is able to work well with the variety of groups in the College. The Committee welcomes his leadership."

Nordt said Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision, is a commitment to excellence in scholarship and teaching that leads to the discovery and dissemination of information. In the coming months and years, Nordt said he will work towards bringing those tenets together to have Baylor stand apart from institutions emphasizing only teaching or only scholarship.

"We must maintain and strengthen our core curriculum and important undergraduate programs and continue to expand our graduate programs in strategic areas," Nordt said. "I am deeply honored to be appointed Dean and to have the opportunity to continue the long tradition of excellence in its leadership. I look forward to working with the students, faculty and staff developing a vision for the future that builds upon our solid academic and Christian foundation."

An expert in climate change, Nordt and a colleague recently created the first and only comprehensive temperature record for the Great Plains dating back 12,000 years. His other research areas include the global soil carbon cycle, landscape evolution and the geology of archaeological sites in Israel, Mexico and Peru. He has published dozens of papers on each of these subjects and lectures around the world.

Nordt earned three degrees - his bachelors, masters and doctorate all from Texas A&M University. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and lectured at Texas A&M University before joining the Baylor faculty as an associate professor of geology in 1996. He was appointed interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and continues to teach several classes in the geology department.

A Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Nordt has edited a special volume of the journal Geoderma, was section editor for the book Encyclopedia of Soils, edits for the Glossary of Geologic Terms and serves on the editorial board of the journal Geology and Geoarchaeology. He is a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society of North America, and served as the Baylor delegate to the National Council for Environmental Deans and Directors. He has served as chair or co-chair of several Baylor committees and directed Baylor's high school summer science program for three years.

Contact: Terry Goodrich, Assistant Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-3321

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