Friday, February 14, 2014

[377] Veteran MTSU professor ‘delighted’ to be permanent Honors College associate dean

MURFREESBORO — Veteran English professor Philip Phillips recently accepted MTSU’s offer to become the permanent associate dean in the University Honors College.

“I can think of no place on this campus I would rather be than the Honors College,” Phillips said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve as associate dean and to work with such fantastic students, faculty and staff. It’s a wonderful community of learning.”

Honors Dean John Vile said Phillips has “done an extraordinary job for three successive years” and that “he’s perfect” for the job. “He’s a good teacher, good scholar and he already knows the job.”

Phillips, the lone on-campus applicant, was among 19 candidates for the job. He had served as interim associate dean for more than two years.

To view a video about Phillips “delighted” to be named permanent associate dean, go to

“We had five that we interviewed by phone,” Vile said of the hiring committee, “and when we got done, everyone said we got at least four out of the five who would be great associate deans, but we have someone here who’s now in his third year of doing it as a one-year position, why don’t we offer it to him? That sounded wise to me and to the people above me, and so that’s what we did.”

Vile added Phillips had “done an extraordinary job” in coordinating the fall and spring Honors Lecture Series, he provided innovative ideas for the new Honors College transfer scholarship and a number of other things.

MTSU alumnus and current graduate student Matthew Hibdon said he was pleased to learn Phillips would be the permanent associate dean.

“I’m so thrilled he has the permanent position now because since I’ve known him, he’s always been so student-centered,” Hibdon said. “By working with him in Omicron Delta Kappa (student honors organization), he has such a passion for helping our student leaders become better leaders in the future.”

In fall 2011, Phillips became interim associate dean when Scott Carnicom accepted an administrative fellow role in the Office of University Provost. In January, Carnicom left MTSU to become dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral and Health Sciences at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.

Phillips, who joined the English faculty in 1999, earned his bachelor’s degree from Belmont University and both his master’s degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. For more about his teaching and research areas, visit


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