Sharpe named dean of Honors College

Ashley McDaniel

On Aug. 16, Shane Sharpe will begin his tenure as the dean of the Honors College at the University, according to a UA news release.

“This is both an honor and a privilege,” Sharpe said. “Being able to work with such an exceptional faculty and a tremendous amount of dedicated students makes coming to work a wonderful experience every day.”

For the past year, Sharpe, who holds a doctorate in management and information systems, has been the interim dean in the Honors College. In 2005, he became the director of the University’s Computer-Based Honors Program.

“[Sharpe] has demonstrated an exceptional ability to work with top students and with deans and faculty across the University,” said UA Executive Vice President and Provost Judy Bonner.

One of Sharpe’s primary goals is to broaden the Honors College and intensify each student’s experience.

“We want to continue to offer personal experiences and increase student involvement in areas such as student involvement, intercultural experience, research opportunities and community service by partnering with student organizations on campus,” Sharpe said.

Fran Oneal, director of the International Honors Program, said selecting the new dean was an extensive search and interview process, and in her opinion, the University made a wonderful decision by awarding Sharpe the position.

“The University wanted to pick someone very well qualified and committed to this college,” she said. “Sharpe has shown dedication, not only to students, but faculty as well. He motivates and uplifts students and is always available for them.”

Students in the Honors College were allowed to participate in interviews and were given permission to voice their opinions during the selection process.

Jeremy Blount, a sophomore majoring in biology and an Honors College student said he thinks Sharpe will retain the humility he’s always shown. The only change will be that he has acquired a new title.

“Being named the new dean … is only providing stability on his future and now, he can do so many more incredible things in the Honors College and show the dedication that he already has,” Blount said.

The main difference Sharpe will experience bearing the title of dean versus his previous title of interim dean, Oneal said, is he will have the assurance that he will be at the University long term and will be able to see his ideas and plans go into action.

Bonner said she has confidence in Sharpe’s ability to provide the leadership the Honors College needs.

“He has demonstrated an exceptional ability to work with top students and with deans and faculty across the University,” she said.

One of the Honors College’s plans is to expand the scope of services they provide to students.

“The Honors College is the showpiece of [UA] academics, and Sharpe is the epitome of the Honors College here at the University,” Oneal said. “You can see his excitement about the growth and development of the Honors College. His humble spirit and personable demeanor is great for working with students and faculty.”