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**Braniff School Names Interim Dean as Permanent Appointment**

Dr. Richard Dougherty, who recently assumed the permanent deanship at the Braniff Graduate School of the University of Dallas, injected a humorous touch into his official photo, playfully photobombed by Dr. Kevin Kambo. The photo credit is attributed to Dr. Dougherty himself.

Dougherty’s Historic Appointment as First Alumnus to Lead Braniff Graduate School

After serving as the interim dean since January 2023, Dr. Richard Dougherty now holds the esteemed position of permanent dean at the Braniff Graduate School. He stands out as the first graduate of the Braniff Graduate School to rise to the deanship, having earned his M.A. in 1989 and Ph.D. in 1993 from the same institution. This significant milestone comes in the wake of recent dean appointments.

Dr. Matthias Vorwerk, the provost, recognized Dougherty as an exceptional candidate for the role and endorsed him to Dr. Jonathan Sanford, the president of the University of Dallas.

In acknowledging Dougherty’s deep ties to the University of Dallas, Vorwerk commented, “Dr. Dougherty’s longstanding association with the University of Dallas, coupled with his academic achievements and high regard among the faculty, makes him exceptionally well-suited for this position.”

The transition to Dougherty’s permanent deanship followed the departure of Dr. Joshua Parens as the dean of the Braniff Graduate School in December 2022, amidst several other vacant dean positions within the university.

In response to the pressing need to fill these key administrative positions, an interim dean was appointed. Following Vorwerk’s recommendation, Dougherty assumed the interim role, which was later solidified by Sanford.

Vorwerk’s positive assessment of Dougherty’s interim performance paved the way for his seamless transition to the permanent deanship. “I was looking for a candidate capable of assuming the permanent position,” Vorwerk explained. “The overwhelmingly positive feedback on Dr. Dougherty convinced me that he was not only suitable as an interim dean but also a strong contender for the permanent role.”

Dougherty’s official appointment to the position was formalized in the fall of 2023. Reflecting on his decision to accept the role, Dougherty drew inspiration from his teaching of Augustine’s “City of God.”

Drawing on Augustine’s teachings regarding the responsible exercise of authority, Dougherty remarked, “Augustine’s lessons resonated with me, underscoring the importance of understanding one’s suitability for a position of authority.”

With a dedicated focus on advancing the graduate program at the Braniff Graduate School, Dougherty articulated his vision for enhancing the institution’s visibility and academic reputation.

Recognizing the pivotal role of faculty in upholding the quality of the graduate programs, Dougherty emphasized the importance of supporting and honoring the exceptional faculty members at the university and the Braniff Graduate School.

Looking ahead, Vorwerk envisions a period of stability and growth for the University of Dallas, with recent appointments signaling a shift towards increased collaboration and academic excellence across various departments within the institution.