Dr. Shawn WahlBuilding on a legacy of ‘bigger and bolder’  

Following a national search, Dr. Shawn Wahl was named dean of the College of Arts and Letters in March 2019.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the College of Arts and Letters. I look forward to continuing to work with faculty, staff, students, alumni and the arts community to advance and build on the college’s tradition of excellence,” Wahl said.

“All seven of our academic programs continue to rise," he said. "I am committed to advocating for transformational structures that provide our students high-quality learning conditions that help them prepare for jobs across industries."

Wahl credits decades of expert leadership, at both the college and university levels, with this success. “We’re continuing to expand and build on the foundation that’s made the college what it is today." 

In addition, Wahl values the role the college plays in the community: facilitating global perspectives, fostering dialogue and advocating for the visual and performing arts.

“These initiatives provide important channels for the community to engage with the university.”

About Dr. Wahl

Wahl, a professor of communication, brings extensive experience in academia to the dean role. He has upheld a national research profile. Areas of research include communication education, college teaching, university leadership and intercultural dimensions of higher education.

Wahl was head of the Missouri State department of communication from 2012-17. He was named interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters in April 2017.

“Some of Shawn’s recent notable distinctions include his leadership of the Central States Communication Association,” said Provost Frank Einhellig. “He served as president of that organization in 2016. He has also completed a fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Management Development.”

Prior to coming to Missouri State, Wahl was a professor of communication and head of the department of communication at Angelo State, and director of graduate studies at Texas A&M.

He earned a doctorate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2003, a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University in 1997.