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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Dec. 13, 2013

Steiner named next dean of College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Michael Steiner

Dr. Michael Steiner

Dr. Michael Steiner, who has served Northwest Missouri State University as the chair of its Department of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2008 and as a faculty member in the department since 1997, has been named dean of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Northwest’s Board of Regents approved the appointment today. Steiner’s role as dean is effective Jan. 1.

“I am delighted that Dr. Steiner has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Northwest Provost Dr. Doug Dunham said. “His breadth of experience, his demonstrated ability to bring people together to work on a common goal, and his character, among other qualities, will contribute to what I know will be a successful tenure as dean.”

As professor of history, Steiner’s teaching responsibilities included American history, U.S. economic history, American folklife, constitutional history and secondary methods in social science. He also was responsible for academic advising of all students in the social science education program, averaging about 85 students per year. He coordinated the social science education program as well as the dual credit program in social sciences and was a liaison to alternative certification in social sciences.

During his tenure as department chair, Steiner oversaw the department’s physical move to a new facility after the renovation of Valk Center in 2009. He also led the department through a merger as part of the University’s 2012 academic realignment, and he has led the development of the emergency and disaster management degree program.

Steiner also has served as a member of the University’s Strategic Enrollment Retention and Progression Committee, the Secondary Education Coordinating Committee, the Foundations of Excellence Learning Dimensions Committee and the Faculty Welfare Committee, among others. He led the University Chairs Council from 2011-2012.

“This experience has been tremendously rewarding, educational, and I believe highly successful,” Steiner said. “While I still enjoy my work within the department, I believe that I have much to offer the broader scope of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University as an academic dean and believe that this is the perfect juncture to do so.”

Steiner said his interests cross disciplines throughout the academic college and he is excited by the prospect of working with faculty, staff and students in its departments.

“The combination of my experience with the mechanics of departmental and college operations, my familiarity with the strategic planning of the University leadership, and my experiences in development of internal programs and external partnerships have prepared me well for this position,” he said. “My vision specific to Arts and Sciences centers on the tremendous opportunities available to the college to nurture student success in the general education program into excellence in the major and minor degree programs across all three colleges.”   

Outside of his faculty and department chair responsibilities, Steiner has authored or contributed to several books including two recent pictorial histories of Nodaway County and the city of Maryville. He has organized several exhibitions and public history programs at the Nodaway County Historical Society, of which he has served as president since 2005. He also has given numerous presentations about local and American history at conferences throughout the country.

Prior to joining the Northwest faculty, he taught American history, government, economics and sociology courses at Oakville Senior High School in St. Louis from 1988 to 1997. He also was a dual credit instructor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Saint Louis University. 

Steiner is a Northwest alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Science in Education degree in social science education from the University in 1985. Steiner also has a Master of Arts in history from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a doctoral degree in American studies from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Leslie Galbreath, Northwest’s dean of Academic and Library Services, served as chair of the search committee that recommended Steiner for the role.

“The committee is confident Dr. Steiner will cultivate a collegial and collaborative environment that benefits students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders of Northwest,” Galbreath said. “An excellent communicator, he has a long history of collaboration and consensus-building across programs and departments.  Dr. Steiner will engage these strengths to promote general education, foster interdisciplinary programming, and nurture excellence in teaching and scholarship.”

Dunham said Northwest is proud to have received many applications from highly qualified individuals, and he thanked the search committee for its diligence and professionalism.

“Those who have served on search committees know how much time it takes to conduct an effective search, and I shortened the timeline within which they worked,” Dunham said. “They did excellent work in a short period of time, and the result of this work speaks for itself.”

In addition to Galbreath, the search committee included Dr. Phil Heeler, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems; Dr. Jerry Barnett, professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Matt Symonds, associate professor and chair of the Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Himadri Chakroborty, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences; Dr. Jody Strauch, Faculty Senate president-elect and assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media; Dr. Elyssa Ford, assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences; Jeaneth Puriel-Foot, Study Abroad coordinator; Kelli French, executive secretary for the College of Arts and Sciences; Cody Uhing, Student Senate president; and Nola Bond, vice president of Human Resources.

Steiner succeeds Dr. Charles McAdams, who resigned from Northwest this fall to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468