Bean, Gunter, Tarver Receive Professor Emeritus Status

Professor Emeritus Honorees 2024
Photographed (from left-to-right): Dr. Linda Bean, Dr. Mary B. Gunter and Dr. H. Micheal Tarver.

Retired Arkansas Tech University faculty members Dr. Linda Bean, Dr. Mary B. Gunter and Dr. H. Micheal Tarver received professor emeritus status from the ATU Board of Trustees during its meeting on Thursday, April 18.

Requirements for professor emeritus status for faculty members who have retired from Arkansas Tech include 15 or more years of consecutive service and nomination by any member of the university community who holds faculty rank.

Authority to grant emeritus status rests with the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the president of the university.

Bean, professor emeritus of business, joined the ATU faculty in 2000 and retired in 2023. She taught courses in both the College of Education and the College of Business, where she chaired the business education program. She also served as the associate dean for the College of Education, dean for the College of Education and the dean for the College of Education and Health.

Bean was the 2007 ATU Faculty Award of Excellence winner in the teaching category and the 2009 ATU Faculty Award of Excellence winner in the service category. Bean was also named the Arkansas Business Education Outstanding Leader of the Year and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Arkansas and Region IV Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Gunter, professor emeritus of educational leadership and distinguished professor of educational leadership, joined the ATU faculty in 1998 and retired in 2023. Upon her arrival at ATU, Gunter set about establishing the ATU Center for Leadership and Learning. The center was dedicated to producing innovative problem solvers at all levels of P-12 school leadership through graduate study. That work culminated in the creation of ATU’s first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Education degree in school leadership, which was first conferred in 2017.

Gunter was a member of the project development team and served as director of Leadership Tech, a program designed to build leadership capacity and serve as professional development for faculty and staff at Arkansas Tech. She was also instrumental in establishing Arkansas Tech’s leadership minor at the undergraduate level. Gunter took on new leadership roles of her own, adding the title of dean of the ATU Graduate College in 2009, dean of the ATU College of Education in 2015 and chief of staff in 2018. She is a member of the Hall of Honor at Fort Osage High School in Independence, Mo., the 2019-20 Great American Conference faculty mentor of the year and the 2018 AdvancED Arkansas Excellence in Education Award winner. Upon her transition from faculty to administration at ATU, the City of Russellville observed Aug. 17, 2018, as Dr. Mary B. Gunter Appreciation Day.

Tarver, professor emeritus of history, joined the ATU faculty in 2002 and retired in 2023. Head of the ATU Department of History and Political Science from 2002-09 and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities from 2010-13, Tarver engaged in full-time classroom teaching over the final decade of his service to Arkansas Tech. He served as the self-study coordinator for the university’s 2010-20 re-accreditation process and as a member of the ATU 2025 Strategic Plan writing team.

Tarver published ten works as either author, co-author, editor or co-editor during his tenure at ATU and represented the university at many national and international professional conferences and gatherings. He received the J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar Award from the U.S. Department of State during the 1998-99 academic year, the Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2001, the Fellowship Award from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History in 2001, the Special Humanities Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in 2002, the Faculty Award of Excellence in the scholarship category from ATU in 2007 and the Fulbright-Hayes Award from the U.S. Department of Education in 2008. In 2023, Tarver received membership in the Venezuelan National Academy of History as a corresponding member. He has served as editor-in-chief of the World History Association’s World History Bulletin and as chairman of the Arkansas History Commission.