Waggoner To Lead Fine And Performing Arts
The move from faculty to administration was a simple one physically for Central Methodist University's Dr. Dori Waggoner - in fact, she kept her old office in CMU's Swinney Conservatory.
That doesn't mean the change was simple. After all, Waggoner's career has focused on teaching music since she graduated from CMU with a bachelor of music education degree in 1992. Now, that focus will change, though only to a degree.
"I am thrilled that this new position will allow me to continue teaching, which I love, but will afford me a new challenge in becoming an administrator," Waggoner said.
Waggoner's appointment as chair of CMU's division of fine and performing arts, and as dean of the Swinney Conservatory of Music, is effective July 1. She replaces Dr. Barbara Anderson, who was promoted to associate dean for academics at CMU.
Born in California, Waggoner and her family moved to Fayette when she was in elementary school. She and her husband J.B. Waggoner live in Fayette with their son Thomas, who will be a senior at Fayette High this year.
In addition to her undergraduate degree from CMU, Waggoner received her master of music degree and her doctorate in music education, both from the University of Missouri.
Waggoner will provide leadership for the music, theatre, and art programs at CMU, and supervise seven full-time faculty and numerous part-time instructors. Budget oversight, student recruitment and scholarship allocation, assistance in fundraising, and facilities management are among the duties of her new post.
"I am certain there will be tasks and responsibilities that will surprise me, but I take great comfort in knowing that the department faculty and staff are hard-working professionals," Waggoner said.
"We are a good team, and though my role on that team is changing, I have no doubt we will continue to offer a high-quality, student-centered arts education at CMU," she added.
Waggoner returned to CMU in 2010 as assistant professor of music after serving in a similar capacity at Kansas State University. Previously she taught music part-time at CMU, concurrently serving as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Missouri for three years.
She also spent three years (2006-09) as assistant to the editor for the Journal of Research in Music Education. Waggoner's resume also shows service as a field experience supervisor at Missouri State University in Springfield; as director of bands for Westran Public Schools in Huntsville; and six years as band and choir director for the New Franklin Public Schools.
She maintains an active schedule as a performing musician (flute), and as a music clinician and adjudicator, too.
Such a diversity of experience has helped prepare her for her new leadership role, but Waggoner recognizes the pressure that comes with providing direction for CMU's highly-regarded fine and performing arts programs. And she acknowledges she will miss the classroom and the music rehearsal rooms, though she will continue to teach some classes.
"CMU is a wonderful place to be because of the great people and the students we teach," she said. "It is my goal to maintain the camaraderie, the intellectual curiosity, and the high quality that we enjoy."
Founded in 1854, Central Methodist programs range from undergraduate and graduate studies to high-school dual credit offerings. Serving more than 5,000 students on its historic main campus in Fayette, through collaborative programs at locations across Missouri, and online, the CMU mission emphasizes academic and professional excellence, ethical leadership, and social responsibility.
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