NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A new director for the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music was among the staff and faculty appointments approved by the Board of Regents at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Dr. John N. Roberts assumed his new duties July 15, replacing longtime School of Music director Ron Anderson who has returned to full-time teaching. Roberts, a pianist, was formerly the Callaway Professor of Music at Mercer University in Georgia.

He also is a former artist in residence and head of music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, and has served on the faculties of Furman University in South Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Roberts was chair of the Department of Music at Mercer University from 1997 through 2006 and served as the inaugural dean of the newly established Townsend School of Music during the academic year 2006-07.

Roberts earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and his Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Yale University.

"Dr. Roberts will be a great addition to the SFA faculty," said Dr. A.C. Himes, dean of SFA's College of Fine Arts. "He brings to the university a wealth of experience, both as an educator and as a musician, making him the ideal person to lead our School of Music."

The regents also approved Dr. John Hendricks as director of SFA's new Division of Communication and Contemporary Culture. Hendricks is currently professor of communication and KSSU radio adviser at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He will begin his new job at SFA Sept. 1.

Hendricks earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication-radio/TV from Southern Arkansas University, a master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a doctorate degree in mass communication-advertising from the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining the faculty at Southeastern Oklahoma State, he taught at the University of Southern Mississippi.

"We are excited to bring Dr. Hendricks to SFA to lead our Division of Communication and Contemporary Culture," said Dr. Brian Murphy, dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts. "His credentials are outstanding. He has previous administrative experience as a departmental chair, he is a well-published scholar, and he serves in leadership roles with several professional organizations. There is not a more well-rounded person to move our programs to national status."

Michael M. Pickard, professor of computer science, was promoted to professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. Pickard holds three degrees from Mississippi State University, a bachelor's degree in mathematics and master's and doctorate degree in computer science. He joined the SFA computer science faculty in 1991, becoming a full professor in 2004.

"The Rusche College of Business is fortunate that Dr. Mike Pickard has agreed to lead the Department of Computer Science after the retirement of Dr. Craig Wood, who has served as department chair commendably for these past 30 years," said Dr. Michael Stroup, dean of the college. "Not only does Dr. Pickard draw from his extensive experience in both the professional and academic worlds, I find that he also brings a very thoughtful perspective to the leadership of our college."

Dr. Mel Finkenberg, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, was named interim dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education. He replaces Dr. John Jacobson, who resigned recently to accept a position at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Kinesiology Professor Dawnella Rust will serve as interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science. Also in the College of Education, Robert O. Choate was appointed to serve as interim chair of the Department of Human Services, and Karen E. Jenlink was appointed professor of secondary education and educational leadership.

Faculty appointments within the College of Liberal and Applied Arts approved by the regents were: Andrew Brininstool, visiting assistant professor of English; Ben Dixon, assistant professor of philosophy; T. Lucas Hollar, assistant professor of government; Denise T. Millstein, assistant professor of English; Kim Rich-Rice, assistant professor of social work; and Nora Vivas, instructor of modern languages. In addition, Sudeshna Roy was promoted from instructor to assistant professor of communication.

Regents also approved the following appointments within the Nelson Rusche College of Business: Traci Austin, assistant professor of general business; Robert G. Ball, assistant professor of computer science; David Cook, associate professor of computer science; and Matthew D. Lindsey, assistant professor of management, marketing and international business.

Other faculty appointments approved by the regents include: Dana C. Gloege, assistant professor of theatre; and Robert K. Henderson, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics.

Regents also approved the following staff appointments: Brian T. Blackwell, admissions counselor; Micah Lynn Rhodes, assistant softball coach; Casey L. Watts, Shawna Slaughter and Erin Michelle Wyatt, charter school teachers; Judith F. Kruwell, accountant II; Geneva Tsui-Shan Fung, music accompanist; Andrea Nicole Loyd, beef farm supervisor; Jennifer Diane Hanlon, assistant director of research and sponsored programs; Jennifer A. Waters, assistant director of housing; and Jamie R. Bouldin, assistant director of student life.

Additional changes of status include: Amanda R. Hopson, from disability service provider to interpreter; Pieter Post, from intern to Broiler Research Center supervisor; Ping Wang, from research associate to medicinal plants research scientist; Susan D. Clarke, from librarian II-head of digital projects to librarian II-head of research and instructional service; and Michael H. Preston, from director of student life to director of student affairs.

The board also accepted the following retirements at the meeting Tuesday: Larry W. Bailey, procurement and property services; Dorothy L. Gottshall, elementary education; Lucille Hackard, library; Gail Leslie, computer science; and Linda Whiting, sciences and mathematics.