MSU RCASH Dean Shawn Wahl overlooking Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park

Reynolds College founding dean builds on legacy

Dr. Shawn Wahl is the Founding Dean of the Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (RCASH). Driven by a historic eight-figure gift and academic transformation, RCASH offers nearly 60 undergraduate degree programs to 3,200-plus students across ten departments housed in five schools, which include: School of the Arts (Art and Design; Theatre and Dance; Music) School of Communication (English; Communication, Media, Journalism and Film), School of Humanities (Political Science and Philosophy; History; Sociology, Anthropology, and Gerontology; Languages, Cultures, and Religions), School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and School of Defense and Strategic Studies that includes Military Science and ROTC.

About Dr. Wahl

Dr. Shawn T. Wahl, a tenured professor of communication, brings extensive experience in academia to the dean role. He has upheld a national research profile. Areas of research include communication education, college teaching, university leadership and the intercultural dimensions of higher education.

Wahl was head of the Missouri State University Department of Communication from 2012-17. He was named interim dean of the Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters in April 2017.

Wahl served as President of the Central States Communication Association (CSCA), which is the largest regional communication association in the United States and fourth largest academic communication association in the world. CSCA spans 13 states, and during his presidency, he implemented strategic initiatives that have enhanced both individual member and organizational goals. In addition, Wahl has considerable experience serving as a leader and consultant to several large corporations (e.g., commodity trading, mining, oil and gas, health care). These experiences have given him the opportunity to work in a variety of large, complex academic, corporate, and non-profit environments that have sought his professional expertise and advice on strategic planning, workforce and policy development, organizational change, communication audits, and leadership coaching.

Wahl served as the co-chair of the 2021-2026 Long Range Plan Steering Committee at Missouri State University that successfully resulted in the inclusion of terminal degree programs (professional doctorates and MFA) in the mission and a bold vision of the future directions of Missouri State's academic programs.

He has also completed two executive leadership programs at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the Management Development Program (MDP) and the Institute for Educational Management (IEM).

Prior to coming to Missouri State, Wahl was a tenured professor of communication and head of the department of communication at Angelo State, and director of graduate studies at Texas A&M.

He earned a doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2003, a master's degree from Texas Tech University in 1999, and a bachelor's degree from Angelo State University in 1997.