Estes named new interim dean of College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

Sarah Beth Estes

Dr. Sarah Beth Estes has been named the new interim dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

Estes will succeed Dr. Thomas Clifton, who will return to the Department of Art and Design as chairperson. Estes will begin her new appointment July 1. She currently serves as the associate provost of community, careers, and extended education and will continue to serve in that role in addition to the interim dean position.

“In his two years of service as interim dean of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, Professor Clifton has made many contributions, most notably overseeing the opening of the Windgate Center for Art and Design as well as initiating a Science Advisory Council,” said Dr. Velmer Burton Jr., executive vice chancellor and provost of UA Little Rock, who also welcomed Estes to her new role.

“I know Dr. Estes will ably expand current initiatives as well as bring some new opportunities to the college,” Burton said. “Her experience in working across disciplines as well as her leadership experience in multiple roles lends itself well to the interdisciplinary nature of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences. Her work in experiential learning and career services will be of great benefit to the many students who are majoring in arts, letters, and sciences. I thank Professor Clifton for his service and Dr. Estes for accepting this appointment.”

Estes is a 1988 graduate of Hendrix College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She also holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She was a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati and affiliate of the Kunz Center for Work and Family before arriving at UA Little Rock in 2006.

Estes began her UA Little Rock career as the coordinator of the gender studies program and as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, where she taught courses on gender, social statistics and research methods, and interdisciplinary courses in the Donaghey Scholars Program.

She has held many leadership roles at the university, including associate dean for research, engagement, and interdisciplinary programs in the College of Social Sciences and Communication; associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and associate chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Much of Estes’ heavily cited research has focused on how work-family policies are related to aspects of family life, including parenting behavior, children’s well-being, and the gendered division of household labor. In the last few years, she has collaborated with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to produce several research studies, including “Economic Indicators for Women in Arkansas: State, Region, County,” published earlier this year.  

Estes serves as first vice president on the board of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, which is dedicated to improving economic outcomes for women and girls in Arkansas. She was also the founding chair of the Green Dot Violence Prevention Program established at UA Little Rock in 2013, was voted the Faculty Member of the Year by the Student Government Association in 2014, and has coordinated the Stonewall Scholarship Committee, which awards an annual scholarship to students whose research incorporates lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender issues.

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