Dr. John Thomas (Tom) Scott appointed interim dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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man in faculty graduation regalia holding a mace
Dr. John Thomas Scott. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

MACON — Dr. John Thomas (Tom) Scott, professor and chair of the History Department in Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been named interim dean of the University’s oldest academic unit, Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis announced today.

The appointment is effective Aug. 1, when current College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Anita Olson Gustafson assumes the presidency of Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Dr. Scott, who also serves as University Marshal, joined Mercer’s faculty in 1991 and has also directed the Honors Program. His academic specialty is early American and U.S. religious and intellectual history.

“I’m grateful to Tom Scott for agreeing to assume interim leadership of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Dr. Davis said. “He’s a well-respected scholar and teacher, and over his more than three-decade tenure at Mercer he has effectively served the University in a variety of capacities. He has mentored countless students who have gone on to significant achievements after graduation. The College will be in excellent hands with Tom as interim dean.”

Dr. Davis said a search committee for a permanent dean will be announced at a later date.

“I am humbled and honored to be named interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and thankful for the confidence Provost Davis has shown in me with this appointment,” Dr. Scott said. “I will do my best to continue the positive momentum that Dean Gustafson and my colleagues in CLAS have helped create for the College during her tenure as Dean.”

Dr. Scott earned his undergraduate degree in history from Vanderbilt University and holds an M.A. in history from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from The College of William and Mary. He studied also at the University of Leeds. Dr. Scott is the author of numerous academic journal articles and a book on the 1730s Wesley Mission to Georgia, published by Lehigh Press. He is co-editor, with Dr. Achim Kopp of CLAS, of a forthcoming collection of Moravian journals to Georgia from the 1730s, also from Lehigh Press.