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'I Am PCAL': New Potter College of Arts & Letter's Dean Prepares For Fall Semester at WKU

Western Kentucky University

The fall semester begins Monday on the campus of Western Kentucky University. 

As new students ground themselves in their new home, Terrance Brown is doing the same as the new dean of the Potter College of Arts and Letters.

Brown is from a small town in Alabama and comes to WKU from the University of North Alabama in Florence. He served as the Founding Executive Director of the School of Arts. 

Brown says joining the Hilltopper family wasn’t exactly a planned move. 

“It just came out of the blue that this position was open, and one of my mentors encouraged me to apply, and I did so,” he explained.

“What really drew us to the campus was this strong emphasis on student learning, and to see students flourish and grow, and that the institution works for providing the sufficient resources needed to help students meet their objectives.”

Brown said another factor that attracted him to WKU was the school's dedication to making better humans. 

Potter College is the largest college on WKU’s campus, and is home to the visual arts, social sciences, and humanities. There are 11 academic units, including the departments of English, History, Music, and Theatre and Dance. 

Brown has a background in musical arts. He has a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in music and was a voice instructor at Dillard University in New Orleans. Brown said he plans to tap into his background in music and leadership to build up the identify of Potter College. 

“I have learned from my artistic journey how to team build and how to build these interdisciplinary opportunities and collaborative learning environments, and that's one of the big emphases that I want to focus on in terms of my tenor as dean here,” he explained.

Another focus Brown has is to continue to strengthen the community of Potter College. During his interview with WKU Public Radio, he commended the work that his predecessor, Larry Synder, did before retiring in June 2021.  

“Community is established by trust and honesty and transparency and knowledge. I think that if we can keep pushing those characteristics within the college and making them become ingrained in the culture of what we do then that community is there, and it’s ingrained and instilled.”  

Brown also hopes to branch the spirit of Potter College out into other communities. 

“The one thing that I love about WKU is that they talk about, ‘Climb to the top of the Hill’. One of the things that I want to encourage in the college is for us to get off the Hill,” Brown said.

“We need to go to the community at large to grab individuals by the hand and say, ‘I know you always look to the top of the Hill, and you always look for that inspiration there and there seems to be this invisible barrier that exist that you can’t break through.’ Let us help you. Let us come get you and pull you to the top with us.”

You can hear our whole interview with Terrance Brown by clicking the ‘Listen’ button at the top of the article. 

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