Psychology instructor to take over as interim dean of the school of Arts and Humanities

Shepherding Arts and Humanities: Carrier said that it’s his goal to lead the Arts and Humanities department through the coming changes of Guided Pathways. Photo by Courtney Walston.

The School of Arts and Humanities now has a new interim dean to take the place of the departing dean, Daniel Powell.

Laramie County Community College psychology instructor Jonathan Carrier is going to finish off the semester with the classes he’s currently teaching and is then going to solely take on the responsibilities as the interim Arts and Humanities dean for the foreseeable future until a permanent dean is appointed.

Carrier said that if he does well in the coming semesters and enjoys the position, he’ll apply for the permanent position.

“I’m going to do the job and all that goes along with that and if that goes well, then maybe I will apply for the full-time position,” Carrier said.

Even though the area that Carrier teaches and has a background in falls into the Math and Sciences department, he began his higher education and teaching career in English.

“I started life as an English major and like a lot of our students, I changed my major 85 times and I kept going between psychology and English; sociology and English … back and forth and then I realized, at the end of the day, what am I writing about most often? And it was human behavior,” Carrier said.

Carrier said that English was always a theme during his time as a student and because of that, he had amassed enough credits to start his teaching career 13 years ago as an English and developmental English instructor.  

“I think my familiarity with English in particular will help me a lot with English faculty, and then my service in the college here for the last nine years has led me to serve on an enormous amount of committees, through which a lot of Arts and Humanities people have also served, so I have relationships,” Carrier said. “I know the faculty in Arts and Humanities extremely well. It’s actually one of the reasons why I took this job, is that I wasn’t having to build new relationships from zero. I know at least 90 percent of the faculty here very, very well.”

Departing Dean Daniel Powell said that Carrier has been well-received by the Arts and Humanities faculty.  

“He has a good rapport with our faculty,” Powell said. “He’s worked with our faculty in classroom observations, he’s worked with them in various ways with program review work and they like him, so he’s a good fit and that’s really, really important.”

When it comes to Carrier’s experience with administrative roles, he’s held three positions at the Albany County Campus; a department chair, the chair of Math and Sciences and he also filled in for a summer as the Director of Academics.

“I’ve been dabbling in administration for probably the last five years of my career … I’ve got an interest there. It was a great opportunity to try it out while also doing some good within the changes that are happening within Arts and Humanities and Pathways. It was a great opportunity at the right time,” Carrier said.

The next year is critical for the college when it comes to implementation of Guided Pathways, and Carrier said that it’s his vision to shepherd people in Arts and Humanities through it.

“We’re doing these major curriculum changes, we’re streamlining things for students, which is a great thing, but it’s going to cause us to have to change quite a lot of our curriculum, how we do things surrounding curriculum,” Carrier said. “That is the challenge. I will not be advocating for any big programmatic changes outside of what Pathways is doing, I’m not going to be in here talking, ‘hey, we need new programs in Arts and Humanities.’ Now is not the time for that. We want to get through Pathways this year and get that set up for our students.”

Carrier said that he’s excited to be a part of Arts and Humanities and to help both faculty and students get through the Pathways process in the most meaningful and effective way.

“Jonathan’s increased his level of responsibility in A&H and it was well received,” Powell said. “I think he would have been a good candidate from the beginning, just based on what I know.”


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