BROWNWOOD – March 10, 2023 – Howard Payne University announced today that Dr. Kristen Hutchins, professor of biology and department chair, will become the dean of the university’s School of Science and Mathematics following the retirement of Dr. Gerry Clarkson, current dean, in May. Dr. Hutchins’ first day as dean will be June 1.
“Dr. Gerry Clarkson has served HPU well during his tenure and embodies the HPU core value of being called to service,” said Dr. Cory Hines, president. “Dr. Kristen Hutchins has proven herself a strong leader, successful instructor and effective administrator during her tenure at HPU, and I am confident she will serve our university and our students well in her new role as dean. I look forward to seeing what the years ahead hold for the School of Science and Mathematics under her leadership.”
>Dr. Hutchins has served as faculty member in HPU’s Department of Biological Sciences for 15 years and as chair of the department for three years. She was a key member of the team that developed the university’s biomedical science program. She is a faculty leader who has served as an officer of the Faculty Assembly several times and is recognized as an excellent teacher who was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year for 2018-2019.
Dr. Hutchins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ouachita Baptist University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Missouri. She is a member of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, where she serves as co-leader of a Sunday school class. She and her husband, Dalton, have two children, Blake and Sydney.
“Dr. Kristen Hutchins understands and appreciates Christian higher education at Howard Payne University,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, vice president for academic affairs. “She is a thoughtful listener, a creative problem solver and a recognized leader on our campus. I am grateful for her service over these 15 years and look forward to working with her as the dean of the School of Science and Mathematics.”
Dr. Clarkson’s distinguished career at HPU includes 33 years as a faculty member teaching in the physical sciences and engineering departments. He served as chair of the Department of Physical Sciences for seven years and is concluding three years as dean of the School of Science and Mathematics. He was president of the Faculty Assembly in 2016-2017 and in 2017-2018. In 1998, his course Science and Theology: Integrating Christianity and Contemporary Science received a national award from the Templeton Science-Religion Course Program.
Dr. Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is a member of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teaches a Sunday school class. He and his wife, Marie, have two daughters, Rebecca and Emily.
“Dr. Gerry Clarkson is a good example of a servant leader,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “His leadership was recognized because of his consistent Christian character and his excellent service as a veteran member of the Howard Payne faculty.”
For more information about HPU, visit www.hputx.edu.
Photo: HPU’s Dr. Kristen Hutchins, professor of biology and department chair, will become the dean of the university’s School of Science and Mathematics following the retirement of Dr. Gerry Clarkson, current dean.