As the new interim dean of the College of Social Sciences and Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Julien Mirivel plans to focus on student and faculty success.
“We have a strong foundation and mission,” Mirivel said. “I am really excited to represent the college and serve the faculty, staff, and students.”
Mirivel, professor in the Department of Applied Communication, will begin his new position June 1. His duties include managing financial, curriculum, research, and external matters for the college.
The college’s founding dean, Dr. Lisa Bond-Maupin, accepted a position at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.
“I appreciate the founding dean for her support and helping the college transition effectively,” Mirivel said. “I think that is the mark of a great leader.”
Mirivel has many goals for the college, which houses the departments of Applied Communication, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Rhetoric and Writing, and Sociology and Anthropology, as well as the School of Mass Communication and School of Public Affairs. The college is also home to University Television, KUAR/KLRE, and the Survey Research Center.
Student and faculty success are two “crucial goals,” Mirivel said.
“I want to promote effective teaching and learning, boost faculty research and creative efforts, and grow student success,” he said. “We really want to grow relationships with the faculty, staff, and students in the college to develop a sense of community. We also want to foster interdisciplinary research opportunities for faculty and students and provide resources so they can do better in the classroom.”
Since joining UA Little Rock in 2005, Mirivel has held a variety of leadership roles at the university, including co-director of the Academy for Teaching & Learning Excellence from 2012 to 2015 and interim chair of the Department of Criminal Justice from 2015 to 2016.
He has served as associate dean of the College of Social Sciences and Communications since last year. In this position, Mirivel and his team created a student success campaign with an early alert system for students struggling academically.
His research focuses on the nature of positive communication and leadership. Mirivel’s work has been published in top journals in the field of communication, and he is the author of two books on positive communication, “The Art of Positive Communication: Theory and Practice” and “How Communication Scholars Think and Act.”
In the past five years alone, Mirivel delivered over 85 keynotes, trainings, and workshops on campus and in the community on how to communicate more positively. In 2016, he was one of the featured speakers during the TedxMarkhamSt event.
Mirivel is a firm believer in using the power of positive communication as an asset to anyone in a leadership position.
“I try to practice what I teach,” he said. “It’s a strong guide for me. Leadership from my perspective is all about human connection and effective communication. We need to create a college where there is a great deal of respect and sense of community among the faculty, staff, and students. I think positive communication can help us get there.”