Fort Valley State University (FVSU) Provost and Academic Vice President Olufunke Fontenot, Ed.D., announced that Fares M. Howari, Ph.D., has been named the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, effective Dec. 1, 2022. He joins FVSU from Zayed University, where he serves as Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Fontenot said Dr. Howari brings a wealth of experience and creative leadership in higher education, internalization and a demonstrated expertise in supporting continuous professional development for the academic staff.
“Dr. Howari’s vast leadership abilities will be a welcome addition to Fort Valley State University and to ensuring the continued success of our College of Arts and Sciences,” Fontenot said. “We look forward to the strong vision he will bring to FVSU and the mission-critical role he will play in supporting our institutional strategic initiatives.”
Dr. Howari said he looks forward to joining FVSU and promoting progress in the students, the University, and the region.
“It is my great honor and pleasure to join the FVSU team and to be part of a university that is very much committed to the well-being of students and to the progress of the region and beyond,” Dr. Howari said. “I will work hard to further strengthen the excellence of this wonderful, future-facing institution that has a long and distinguished history in empowering people to use education as a pathway to maximize their potential.”
As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at FVSU, Dr. Howari will provide administrative leadership for its academic programs. He will also be responsible for implementing new programs and supporting the College’s strategic plan.
Prior to Dr. Howari’s arrival, academic leader and emeritus faculty member Dr. Josephine Davis is serving as the College’s interim dean.
Dr. Howari’s extensive educational career was built upon postgraduate studies at the University of Texas after an earlier academic career in the United Arab Emirates. During this time, the water resources and environmental scientist and researcher progressed from professor to dean before becoming chair and academic director with institutional-level responsibilities for the realization of the university’s internationalization strategy. He also joined the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP) as program coordinator as an environmental scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.
As an academic leader, Howari played a leading role in advancing a Teaching and Learning strategy which concentrated on improving the academic staff’s skills, employability, and continuous professional development. In addition, in his role as dean at Zayed University, he contributed to drafting a new university academic program modeled on the U.S. system of higher education that was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Dr. Howari earned his B.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences and his M.Sc. in Environmental Geochemistry from Yarmouk University in Jordan. He earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso.