COAS Appoints New Dean

Jaclyn Wiley/Editor-In-Chief

In July, Embry-Riddle appointed a new Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Karen Gaines, after Dr. William Grams, the former Dean, announced his plans to retire. Dr. Grams had led the college since 2007 and had been associated with Embry-Riddle since 1980.

“From a large field of highly qualified applicants, the search committee was extremely impressed with Dr. Gaines’ background as a scholar-administrator and her proven record of leadership as the chair of a large department with diverse research interests,” said Dr. Maj Mirmirani, Dean of the College of Engineering and chair of the search committee, when asked about the choice by the Department of Communications.

“We found Dr. Gaines to be a compassionate leader with an inclusive style of management. Her clarity of vision and grasp of the challenges and opportunities she will be facing made her the right person to advance the success and the continued expansion of the College of Arts & Sciences.”

The College of Arts & Sciences is responsible for most of the general education, which is usually a part of the coursework for new students during their first two years at Embry-Riddle.   It also contains five academic Departments, three ROTC units, and multiple majors.

“I feel very comfortable in an environment where we’re giving a basic education, and then developing students in a very intricate fashion to progress towards what they want to accomplish in their career.  I love that about this university… I love what Embry-Riddle does,” said Dr. Gaines.

Dr. Gaines discussed her plans for the COAS, which included growing the college’s number of majors and research influence, as well as strengthening the existing degree programs.  “We have a lot of opportunity to grow.”

By doing so, Dr. Gaines aims to not only increase the reputation of the school but also increase the opportunities for the students.

“Another aspect that is near-and-dear to me is the advancement of women in science and math.”

Dr. Gaines is currently exploring degree programs that would potentially attract more women, as well as the possibility of creating a campus-wide organization, similar to the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) groups that are found on campuses around the country.  This group would have a focus on providing mentorship opportunities to women around campus.

Dr. Gaines’ office is located in the Dean’s Suite, on the fourth floor of the COAS.  For more information, go to