Monmouth University has named Kenneth Womack, PhD, as dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Womack, a scholar and writer who enjoys an international reputation in the fields of contemporary literary and popular culture, will join the University on July 1.
“Dr. Womack brings considerable experience as an administrator, including supervising more than 200 full-time faculty members, overseeing tenure and promotion, directing curricula, and managing the programmatic activities associated with a wide range of academic disciplines,” said Laura J. Moriarty, PhD, Monmouth University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest academic unit within the University, and his broad perspective and experience will serve us well.”
Womack comes to Monmouth University following an 18-year career at The Pennsylvania State University’s Altoona College, where he has served as professor of English & Integrative Arts and, since 2007, as senior associate dean for Academic Affairs. Before advancing into that leadership post, he served Penn State Altoona as head of the Division of Arts and Humanities for six years, during which time he shared in the development of new degree programs in Communications, History, and Visual Art Studies. Prior to taking on these administrative roles, Womack was a faculty member in the English department from 1997 to 2002.
Womack said that the opportunity to lead a broad and varied academic unit is a welcome challenge. “I believe that my record of bringing diverse constituencies together in order to establish collaborative solutions has fully prepared me for the institutional opportunities at Monmouth University,” he said. “I am excited to join the University at such a dynamic time of progress.”
“We are particularly excited about Dr. Womack’s leadership experience,” said Monmouth University President Paul R. Brown, PhD. “In addition to his teaching and administrative accomplishments, he has spearheaded fundraising initiatives to support scholarship funds, established an endowed lecture series, developed new study abroad opportunities, created college-wide assessment strategies, and implemented strategic planning activities.”
Womack is the author of three award-winning novels—John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel, The Restaurant at the End of the World, and Playing the Angel. He is also the author or editor of numerous works of nonfiction, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles and The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, which was named as The Independent’s “Music Book of the Year.” His most recent Beatles-related work, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four, was published in 2014 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Womack, who studied Russian language and literature at the Moscow Institute of Communications, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Texas A&M University and doctorate in English from Northern Illinois University.
He succeeds Stanton Green, PhD, who served in the post for 11 years. Green, whose research and teaching interests include Baseball and American Culture, Archaeology, and Ireland, will continue his work as a professor in the Department of History and Anthropology.