Mark Spencer, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello since 2005, has been named associate vice chancellor for Program Development, Assessment, and Distance Learning. He began serving in his new position on Jan. 1.

During his time as dean, Spencer led the revision of curricula in all the disciplines of Arts and Humanities and the creation of new baccalaureate programs in Jazz Studies, Modern Languages, and Liberal Arts, as well as the creation of nationally recognized innovative graduate programs: the online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, the low-residency Master of Music in Jazz Studies, the online Master of Fine Arts in Debate and Communication, and the online Master of Arts in English with four distinct concentration areas.

“I’ve always tried to think outside the box,” Spencer said, “and to focus on UAM’s strengths to come up with new programs and to revamp existing programs to enhance our students’ academic experiences.”

In his new administrative role, Spencer will continue to teach in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. He is the author of a dozen books including his most recent novel, An Untimely Frost; the history book Images of America: Monticello; and the best-selling nonfiction novel A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House. His national awards for writing include the Faulkner Award for the Novel, the Omaha Prize for the Novel, The Bradshaw Book Award, and the St. Andrews Press Short Fiction Prize.

Spencer, his wife, Rebecca, and their numerous children live in the Allen House in Monticello.

“I’m excited about the potential for growth and innovation at UAM,” Spencer said. “In my new position, I look forward to working with our talented faculty, staff, and administrators to make UAM an even more vibrant and rich learning environment.”

Justin Anders, former Chair of the Division of Music, has been named Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. Scott Bearden, Assistant Professor of Music, has been named the Interim Chair of the Division of Music.