Muehsam named dean of graduate studies

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Mitchell J. Muehsam, associate dean and coordinator of graduate studies for the College of Business Administration at Sam Houston State, has been given university-wide responsibilities in this area.

David Payne, vice president of Academic Affairs, announced Wednesday that Muehsam will be named dean of graduate studies and associate vice president of Academic Affairs beginning next fall.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work more closely with the entire university community,” Muehsam said. “Graduate programs have become of great importance at Sam Houston State University, and I am excited to be able to work toward increasing their enrollments and recognition.”

Muehsam said one of the visions he has for the graduate program in the future is that it will grow in numbers, and that the university will receive more visible recognition for the quality of its programs.

“A lot of people call the Sam Houston State the ‘best kept secret’ when it comes to its graduate programs,” Muehsam said. “We don’t want to be a secret anymore; we want to find a way to get the word out about the quality of our institution.”

Muehsam said he does not want to force changes upon the graduate program, but he wants to work with the people already involved in the program so they can come to a consensus about what they want to change.

“My idea of being dean is not a ‘my way or no way’ mentality. Instead, I want to be able to harness the knowledge of the talented faculty members that are already in the program.”

Muehsam said the SHSU graduate program sets itself apart from other universities because of the accessibility, experience and good character qualities of the faculty members.

“The public tends to think of the university as an ‘ivory tower’, where we are disconnected from the rest of the world,” said Muehsam. “However, we have a lot of faculty members that have non-academic experience in the fields that they are teaching in. We have a wealth of experience within our faculty, and they truly practice what they teach. This is true for both the graduate and undergraduate faculty members.”

Muehsam said the faculty members at SHSU make themselves very accessible to the students, and this is important for graduate students who are seeking faculty that will mentor them.

“We have a large group of good, humble people that care about the students,” said Muehsam. “The combination of faculty accessibility and experience sets Sam Houston State apart from programs at other universities.”

According to an article in the “Today @ Sam” Web site, “Muehsam has been employed at Sam Houston State for 14 years, including eight in his present position. He received his doctorate in statistics from Texas A&M University, and specializes in experimental design, questionnaire construction and statistical sampling.”

Muehsam is the co-founder and former president of Tourism & More Consulting Services, and he has served as a consultant for national, county and city governments in the United States, as well as for public and private concerns.

Muehsam has applied his knowledge of statistics to projects that include economic impact studies, market research analysis, tourism assessments, political polling and the impact of NAFTA on Mexican borders.

The article says Dr. Don Bumpass will return to teaching full-time in the College of Business Administration. Bumpass has taught at Sam Houston State for 11 years, and he was director of the Office of Graduate Studies in a half-time capacity since 1995, and three-fourths time for the past two years.