Barbara Wells, VP and dean, announces retirement

Barbara Wells, VP and dean, announces retirement

Oct. 27, 2017

Dr. Barbara Wells, vice president and dean of Maryville College, announced today that she will retire following the 2017-2018 academic year.

The announcement was made during a meeting of the College’s Board of Directors and shared with the campus community through a memorandum from Dr. Tom Bogart, Maryville College president.

“As a former dean, I have been impressed with and grateful for Dr. Wells’s experience as a teacher, her talents, her values, and her understanding of and commitment to this College,” Bogart wrote. “Her leadership has moved the College forward in profound ways.”

Appointed to the position through a national search in February 2012, Wells has guided the College through several curricular changes and improvements. Highlights include the implementation of Maryville College Works, the creation of the new core curriculum, the adoption of a new academic calendar and the implementation of an academic policy reducing the number of credit hours required for graduation.

Under her leadership in Academic Affairs, the College has added nine majors and five minors and developed dual degrees in biopharmaceutical sciences and veterinary sciences with the University of Tennessee. Bogart also cited numerous faculty hires, the creation of transfer pathways and a revamping of the College’s Career Center.

“Dr. Wells provided key leadership in the comprehensive renovation of Anderson Hall and the improvements to Thaw Hall. She also led planning efforts for new and remodeled spaces for the academic divisions currently in Sutton Science Center,” Bogart wrote. “In 2011, Dr. Wells served as co-chair of the steering committee that developed our current ‘Renewing Our Strength’ strategic plan.”

A sociologist, Wells joined the MC faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor. Eight years later, she began a term as chair of the College’s Social Sciences division; 12 years later, she was promoted to professor. Wells holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Bogart said the process for filling the VP and dean position would be announced in the coming weeks.

“Because Dr. Wells will not be retiring until after the 2017-2018 academic year ends, we have ample time to find an excellent successor,” he wrote.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.