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Release date: December 5, 2006

Givens named dean of Wayland Baptist University's Altus Campus

PLAINVIEW – Dr. J.M. “Jay” Givens, associate professor of religion at Wayland Baptist University in Lubbock, has been named the new dean of Wayland’s campus in Altus, Okla., effective Jan. 1.

              Givens has been a member of the full-time faculty at the Lubbock campus since 2003, coming to the campus from a three-year stint on the religion faculty at the Hawaii campus. At Altus, he replaces Dr. Dean Daniel, who left to take the helm of the Wichita Falls Campus in November.

              “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Wayland’s youngest campus and to serve as the ‘face’ of Wayland in Oklahoma. I believe the Altus campus has significant growth potential and look forward to getting to know the students, staff, and faculty there,” Givens said of the new appointment. “I am very excited about the visionary leadership of (President) Dr. Paul Armes, (Provost) Dr. Bobby Hall, and Dr. Elane Seebo (associate vice president for external campuses) and believe Wayland’s best days are in the future as together we move into a new century of education and service.”

              In addition to his teaching role in Lubbock, Givens has been director of the Master of Christian Ministry program for the WBU system since August and has coordinated all religion programs in Lubbock, under the direction of the Division of Religion and Philosophy, since 2003.

              Wayland administrators expressed confidence in Givens’ new role as a campus dean.

              “We're excited that Dr. Givens has accepted the position of dean at the Altus campus,” said Dr. Elane Seebo. “Dr. Givens’ knowledge of the Wayland system, especially academic policies, will be a valuable tool as he transitions from the role of faculty member to the role of dean.He brings professionalism, knowledge, and experience with the Wayland system to the table, and he will do a great job at Altus.”

              “Dr. Givens has excelled as a faculty member for Wayland in both Hawaii and Lubbock and has also contributed to the success of Wayland’s Faculty Senate and as a member of many university committees,” added Dr. Bobby Hall, provost. “Throughout his career at Wayland, Dr. Givens has demonstrated a caring concern for his students and a thorough understanding of the university’s external campus mission and its impact on both military and civilian students. He will provide excellent leadership in Altus.”

              Prior to coming to Wayland in 2000, Givens was an adjunct professor in religion at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, a teaching fellow and graduate assistant at Southwestern Seminary, and a director of Baptist Student Ministries at Lee College in Baytown. He also served one year as assistant director of the BSM at Lamar University.

              He holds the bachelor’s degree from Lamar University and a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Southwestern Seminary in 2000 and studied at Brite Divinity School and Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives.

              Givens has published and presented in the areas of theology and Baptist history and worship over the years, and he has received teaching awards from the Hawaii Campus. He is assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 505 and committee chairman for Cub Scout Pack 549. He is a team leader with the Lubbock Area Baptist Association and has provided pulpit supply for various churches in the area.

              Located on Altus Air Force Base, the Altus campus serves a heavily military population, with an average enrollment of 65. Like the other 12 external campuses in the Wayland system, Altus operates on a quarterly term format, with 11-week terms in fall, winter, spring and summer offered primarily in the evenings and on weekends.

              The campus offers the Associate of Applied Science degree, bachelor’s degrees in business and occupational education (utilizing credits from work experience or previous study) and master’s degrees in business and management. The campus specializes in the degree completion program for adult students.