BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Bethany College, has announced the appointment of Dr. Darin E. Fields as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Dr. Fields will assume the post on February 16, 2009.
Fields comes to Bethany following a five-year stint as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He will supervise Bethany’s academic and student life division.
Bethany is classified as a national liberal arts college by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The College is ranked among the top 100 colleges in the nation by Forbes magazine and is listed among the best by the Princeton Review, Barron’s, and Colleges of Distinction.
“We are delighted that Darin Fields has accepted our invitation to fill this important position,” Dr. Miller said. “His strong administrative background, his outstanding reputation as an academician and many years of outstanding teaching experience make him an ideal fit for Bethany College. We look forward to adding Dr. Fields’ innovation, creativity and leadership to our growing and vibrant academic community at Bethany.”
Fields was selected from a national field of more than 80 nominations and applications to replace Dr. Michael Mihalyo, who resigned in late October to accept a position with the Appalachian College Association in Berea, Ky. The national search was assisted by Fennell Associates Higher Education Services of Pittsburgh, Pa.
“I am pleased to join an institution with such a strong reputation as a national liberal arts college of distinction,” Fields said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Miller and the faculty to build on the strong foundation of academic rigor and values-centered education that is already in place at Bethany.”
Fields earned a B.A. in English from the University of Arizona at Tucson, Ariz. in 1986 and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1989 and 1992, respectively. He was an instructor at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. from 1987-89 before spending two years as a research assistant to the late Dr. Leo Lemay, noted Benjamin Franklin researcher and H.F. DuPont Winterthur Professor of English at the University of Delaware. Fields spent 1991 as a Mellon Research Fellow with the Virginia Historical Society and returned to the University of Delaware faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1992.
Fields moved on to Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in 1993, serving as an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor until 1999, when he was named Chair of the Division of Humanities at Wilkes. He served in that position until 2003 when he was appointed to his current position as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences — the largest academic unit at Wilkes. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award at Wilkes in 1994 and was honored as the Carpenter Outstanding Teacher of the Year at Wilkes in 2001.
Fields’ research interests and publications have focused on early American literature and 18th Century British literature. He has contributed numerous articles and reviews to several books and periodicals. Fields has also presented papers at various conferences, including the American Literature Association, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature.
Fields will reside in Highland Hearth on campus, the historic vice president’s house. He and wife Pam have two children.
Bethany College, chartered in 1840, is West Virginia’s oldest independent college. It focuses on excellence in undergraduate liberal arts education with eight selected pre-professional programs and strong academic niches in equine studies, communications, fine arts and business. Its values-centered education emphasizes service to campus and community in a pluralistic society. The list of distinguished Bethany alumni includes a World Court justice, the director of the National Cancer Institute, an Academy Award-winning actress, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, senior vice president of a major international ad agency and the director of a world-famous Fortune 500 electronics company.