January 7, 2014
Blinn College’s new organizational structure continued to take shape today as the College named Karen Buck its new assistant vice president for instruction and M. Elia Flores its dean for Health Sciences.
Buck previously served as Blinn’s director of program compliance and accreditation, while Flores was interim dean of Health Sciences after serving 20 years as the College’s Radiologic Technology director. The two have served as Blinn administrators or instructors for a combined 40 years.
In December, Blinn named Dr. Diane Lovell-Osburn its dean of Social Sciences, Dr. Marcelo Bussiki its dean of Visual & Performing Arts and Dr. Patricia Westergaard its dean of Humanities.
Blinn’s new, more modern structure will aid the College in managing an enrollment that has more than doubled from 8,715 students 20 years ago to 18,413 this semester. The deans will handle administrative duties previously managed by Blinn’s division chairs, assistant division chairs and coordinators, allowing those instructors to spend more time in the classroom.
As assistant vice president for instruction, Buck will assist programs in maintaining their Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and industry accreditations. She will assist Dr. Cynthia Griffith, who was named Blinn’s vice president for instruction in November.
Buck came to Blinn as a part-time information management, applied business and Workforce Education instructor in 1996 and has served as coordinator of the Carl D. Perkins Basic Grant, federal grants director, director of off-campus programs/prisons and director of technical education quality initiatives during her tenure with the College.
In 2011, Buck was a THECB Star Award nominee and received the Texas Workforce Investment Council Promising Practice Award for Applied Sciences use of graduate/employer surveys. She has been recognized by the THECB for the design of an electronic site visit process that was implemented state-wide and for best practices implemented through the Perkins Grant.
Buck earned her master’s degree in higher education administration specialization and her graduate certificate in higher education administration from Northeastern University. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston.
Flores came to Blinn as a clinical coordinator in 1990, then served as Radiologic Technology director from 1992-2012. Over that span, her students posted a 100 percent pass rate on national board exams and Blinn’s Radiologic Technology program was recognized by the THECB as an exemplary program in 2004 and 2007.
Flores earned her master’s in health education from Texas A&M and her bachelor’s in vocational education from Corpus Christi State University. She earned the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Award in 2010 and 2011 and the Blinn Professional Association Teaching Excellence Award in 2004.
Blinn’s Health Sciences Division includes the Associate Degree Nursing, Licensed Vocational Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Physical Therapy Assistant, Fire Science, Dental Hygiene, Health Information Technology and Veterinary Technology programs, as well as the Simulation Lab Center.
Blinn’s academic transfer rate is the highest in the state and 20 percent higher than the state average. Founded in 1883, Blinn’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs.
Registration for Blinn’s Spring semester remains open through Jan. 12. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.