Since 2010, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño has served a dual role as Regent’s executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). But in July, after an extensive national search, the university welcomed Dr. Robert Herron as the new dean of Regent’s largest school.
“Dr. Herron’s impressive career aligns well with Regent’s ongoing vision of exponential growth through high-quality academic programs,” says the university’s founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “He will build upon this trajectory of new, in-demand program development to prepare our students for leadership and success.”
For the past five years, Herron has served as provost/executive vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He holds a Ph.D. in Religion from Rice University, brings advanced training as a distinguished Research Fellow at Universität Tübingen in Germany, and attended Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Management Development Program.
Enrollment in the College of Arts & Sciences grew rapidly under Moreno-Riaño’s leadership, increasing by 26 percent in fall 2016 and 33 percent in spring 2017. Much of that growth was the result of a 100-percent increase in new academic programs in the first five years of Moreno-Riaño’s tenure as dean.
It’s a trend Herron expects to continue: “It was obvious to me early in the discussion that the CAS is on an aggressive upward growth curve. Because of my experience, I know aggressive growth can happen without sacrificing mission or quality. I welcome the opportunity to be part of that experience.”
At Oklahoma Wesleyan, Herron oversaw the development of 30 new or revised academic programs. He also expanded many programs into effective and efficient online delivery formats. “What a privilege to be joining CAS at such a pivotal time of growth and expansion for both the college and the university,” he explains. “I’m looking forward to working alongside the college’s wonderful faculty and staff, and most of all, I’m eager to start meeting Regent students and becoming part of the Regent community.”
Herron’s resumé also includes serving as vice president for strategic projects at Trinity International University, provost at Waynesburg University, vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern University, and several positions including vice president and executive assistant to the president at Lee University, where he began as a professor of religion.
Drawn to Regent by its “unapologetic Christian mission of equipping Christian leaders to change the world,” Herron says it will take four things to continue CAS’s historic enrollment and program growth: “First, an indefatigable focus on mission. Second, a determination to maintain high quality in our academic programming. Third, a sound business model that is keenly aware of its ROI (return on investment). And fourth, sensitivity to market.”
He continues, “There are very many courses of study and academic programs that Regent University can offer that students want. If we can offer those programs consistent with our mission, with uncompromising quality, and with a sound business model, there is no end to what Regent University can become.”
The College of Arts & Sciences offers 54 degree programs, including health care, cybersecurity, business, computer science, psychology, nursing and others. For information about enrolling in Regent University’s College of Arts & Sciences, call 888.718.1222 or visit regent.edu/cas.