Board of Regents Approves Topliff Appointment, New Degree Program

Dec. 3, 2010

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129,

Board of Regents Approves Topliff Appointment, New Degree Program

CANYON, Texas—The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved several agenda items pertaining to West Texas A&M University during its meeting Dec. 2-3 in College Station.

The board approved Dr. Don Topliff’s appointment as dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering as well as a new degree program, a performance incentive for the athletic program and authorized the naming of Dr. Darlene Pulliam as a Regent Professor and the naming of a classroom in the Classroom Center.

Dean approval: The board approved the University’s selection of Dr. Don Topliff as its new dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. Topliff, who joined the WTAMU faculty in 1998 as head of the Division of Agriculture (now the Department of Agricultural Sciences), will fill the position that will be vacated by the Dec. 31 retirement of Dr. James Clark. In 2007 Topliff was named the first associate dean for the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. He has an outstanding record of accomplishment and leadership in teaching, research and service. He took an active role in designing WTAMU’s Ph.D. program and works hard to increase enrollment in agricultural sciences. He also is active in the Equine Science Society, the American Quarter Horse Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Wheat Producers as well as various other committees and boards in the industry.

New degree program: The board approved the establishment of a new degree program that will lead to a specialist in school psychology degree. The degree is designed to provide training in school psychology at the graduate level to prepare graduates as school psychologists in public schools or other related organizations and agencies. The new degree program will be housed in the College of Education and Social Sciences in the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work. The board’s approval of the program will be sent to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final authorization.

Incentive program: The board also approved a performance incentive for the University’s athletics program that supports extra pay for exceptional work by the coaching staff when achieving such accomplishments as Lone Star team championships, Director’s Cup and/or recognition for team GPA’s.

Regent Professor: The regents approved the naming of Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor of accounting and McCray Professor of Business, as a Regents Professor. The Regents Professor designation is one of the highest honors given by the A&M System Board of Regents. Pulliam joined the WTAMU faculty in 1997. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Eastern New Mexico University and her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. She has numerous publications to her credit and is the co-author of the books Advising the 60+ Investor and Personal Service Corporations published as part of the Research Institute of America’s Tax Adviser’s Planning Service.

Classroom naming: A request to name a computer lab in the Classroom Center as The Rising Star Classroom was also approved by the board. The Rising Star Classroom is provided through a gift from the First United Bank as a continued commitment in excellence in education, business and life. First United Bank is a member of the WTAMU’s Old Main Society and in 2002 provided the name for the University’s new event center.



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