14 WT Faculty Members Awarded Tenure, Promotion

Chip Chandler May 21, 2021
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14 WT Faculty Members Awarded Tenure, Promotion

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — Fourteen West Texas A&M University faculty members have been recognized for outstanding performance by being awarded tenure and/or promotion for the 2021-22 academic year.

This total includes eight faculty members awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor and five promotions in academic rank to Professor.

Extensive reviews and recommendations by faculty colleagues at the department, college, and university levels inform the decisions, which culminate with final approval by President Walter Wendler and The Texas A&M Board of Regents. The Regents officially approved promotion and tenure at their May 20 meeting.

WT’s recommendations were announced at the annual spring address, which also included recognition of the retirements of 19 WT faculty members.

Promotion and tenure is a privilege reserved for faculty members who have demonstrated professional accomplishments in instructional responsibilities, intellectual contributions and service.

“We are proud of our colleagues who are celebrating this well-deserved career milestone,” said Dr. Neil Terry, executive vice president and provost. “We have confidence that these faculty members will continue to contribute at a level of excellence that is critical to the mission of West Texas A&M University.”

The faculty members recognized include: 

Award of Tenure and Promotion to Rank of Associate Professor

  • Fisseha Alemayehu, Mechanical Engineering
  • Donna Byers, Biology
  • Rahul Chauhan, Management
  • Naruki Hiranuma, Environmental Science
  • Eric Hoffmann, Economics
  • Robert King, Marketing
  • John Shanks, Music
  • Jason Yarbrough, Chemistry

Promotion to Professor

  • Brock Blaser, Plant Science
  • Teri Bingham, Education
  • Stephen Crandall, Theatre
  • Emily Kinsky, Communication
  • Amy Von Lintel, Art
  • Barbara Wang, Finance

Retiring employees include:

  • Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences: Joel Babitzke, instructor of biology; Dr. Joseph Cepeda, professor of geology; and Dr. Bonnie Pendleton, professor of agriculture;
  • Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business: Dr. Sharon Burnett, Edwards Professor of Accounting; Dr. Karyn Friske, professor of accounting and Schaeffer Professor of Business Ethics; Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor of accounting and McCray Professor of Business; and Alice Upshaw, instructor of accounting;
  • College of Engineering: H. Paul Haiduk, instructor of computer sciences; Kim Seward, instructor of mathematics; and Ken Starcher, instructor of engineering technology;
  • College of Education and Social Sciences: Dr. Frank Goode, assistant professor of education; Dr. Harry Hueston, professor of criminal justice; and Dr. JoAnn Klinker, associate professor and director of the Ed.D. program;
  • Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities: Royal Brantley, Regents professor and director of theatre; Dr. Trudy Hanson, professor of communication studies; Connie McKee, associate lecturer of communication studies and director of forensics; and Dr. Denise Parr-Scanlin, professor of music; and
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences: Vicki Hartin, instructor of nursing; and Tommy Sweat, director of Panhandle Area Health Education Center.

Nurturing excellent faculty is an important principle of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.