Dean Ken Shaw of Florida State University Panama City and the College of Applied Studies announced today he will assume the presidency of Southwestern Adventist University on July 1.
Shaw was nominated for the position at the Texas University seven weeks ago, and the university’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved his appointment today.
“I have worked at FSU Panama City for 25 years, and it is with mixed emotions that I make the decision to leave,” Shaw said. “I am excited about what the future holds, but I will deeply miss the friendships I have developed here.”
After completing his doctorate from the University of Georgia, Shaw spent nine years as faculty at FSU Panama City in mathematics education before serving as acting dean in 1998 and associate dean for academic program from 2000 to 2005. He served as acting dean again from 2005 to 2006 and was asked to serve as dean in 2009 when threats of a campus closure were looming.
Associate Dean Steve Leach praised Shaw for his educational vision and his commitment to the community.
“For 25 years, this campus and the Panama City community have been blessed by the leadership of Dr. Ken Shaw. Many significant changes have taken place as a result of his vision of the Panama City campus as an intellectual focal point for Bay county area. He will be dearly missed, but we wish him the very best as he takes on a new set of challenges,” Leach said.
During his time in administration at FSU Panama City, the campus has seen tremendous growth. The campus offers 23 full-time programs, both on campus and online, and employs 30 full-time faculty. With the support of Allan Bense, the Administrative Services Building and the Holley Academic Center were built, providing for program and enrollment growth and a space available for community use. Since fall 2008, enrollment has increased from 985 to 1,400 students in fall 2012 and 1,660 in the fall of 2013.
In 2010, with the approval of the FSU Board of Trustees, FSU Panama City established the 16th academic college of Florida State University. The College of Applied Studies will help the campus meet the local educational needs of the region and now has three bachelor's programs, one master's program and two certificate programs. A Master of Science degree in Nurse Anesthesia is projected to begin in fall 2015.
The FSU Panama City STEM Institute provides educational opportunities for middle and high school students as well as teachers. Working with community partners at the Navy, Air Force, AT&T and local defense contractors, the campus has hosted 2200 middle and high school students and teachers with the goal of inspiring young people to careers in STEM.
Currently the campus is conducting a $5 million campaign. Since it began in 2012, the campaign has raised almost $2.9 million toward the Endowment of the College of Applied Studies.
“It has been my distinct privilege to serve this institution in various capacities through the years,” Shaw said. “FSU Panama City is much bigger than any one person, and I have all the confidence that the campus will continue to be successful. It has been a real pleasure working here for the past 25 years.”
An interim dean has yet to be named.