Eddie Henderson, WT’s Education and Social Sciences Dean, to Return to Teaching

CANYON, Texas — One of West Texas A&M University’s longest-serving deans will return full-time to the classroom. 

Dr. Eddie Henderson, longtime dean of the Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences, will step down Aug. 31, 2023, unless a successor is appointed sooner. 

The position will be advertised nationally beginning in November, with interviews expected to begin in late February. A 14-person search committee of administrators, staff, faculty and community representatives has been formed. 

Henderson joined WT in August 2000 as head of the Division of Education.  

“I exited the corporate world in August 2000 to join WT because of my love of teaching and my desire to mentor students in accomplishing their dreams,” Henderson said. “I want to continue my professional life doing what I love best and focus on teaching and scholarly activity. I am particularly eager to mentor our doctoral candidates in educational leadership. For me, this opportunity is a culmination of many years invested in developing and implementing what has become an exemplary doctoral program that is gaining national recognition.” 

Henderson was named dean in 2006. Upon the official relinquishment of his position, Henderson will be a full-time faculty member in the doctoral program in educational leadership as the Myrna Raffkind Professor of Global Education, focusing on education law and policy, higher education leadership and special populations. 

“Since I began at WT, Dr. Henderson has been committed to academic excellence for students in the College and the University,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “His leadership has been instrumental in numerous successes, especially the continued enrollment growth in the doctor of education in educational leadership program. We are grateful that he will continue to serve WT.”  

In Henderson’s honor, WT’s Office of Academic Affairs—along with donor Ruth M. Brinkman and friends of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion—has established the Dr. Eddie Henderson Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship. 

The scholarship is dedicated to supporting students from underserved populations that increase diversity on campus, including students who are underrepresented minorities, LGBTQIA, persons of color, indigenous Americans, international students and persons with disabilities. 

“An essential aspect of Dr. Henderson’s legacy at WT is his dedication to supporting cultural diversity through international exchange and study abroad,” said Dr. Neil Terry, executive vice president and provost. “In addition to international programs, Dr. Henderson is known as a campus leader supporting diversity and inclusion in all its forms at the university. His advocacy on behalf of students and faculty members is integral to advancing diversity and inclusion at WT.” 

WT opened in 1910 as West Texas State Normal College, a school that trained teachers. Today, about 75 percent of all teachers and administrators throughout the Panhandle region have at least one degree or certificate from WT. 

In addition to teachers and school administrators, the Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences is responsible for the preparation of school psychologists, social work professionals, and students for graduate programs in psychology, sociology, the law and public services and administration, as well as direct engagement with the community through its programs in criminal justice and emergency management administration. The College currently serves more than 1,700 students, making it the second-largest College at WT. It includes three departments: the Department of Education; the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice; and the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work. 

During Henderson’s tenure, the College established a successful doctoral program in educational leadership with a focus on rural schools; begun master’s degree programs in social work and public administration; created the Center for Learning Disabilities, a Texas A&M University System Center of Excellence, and The TAMUS Mexico Education Collaborative.   

Additionally, the college has excelled in providing short-term, faculty-directed Study Abroad opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students though its innovative Go Global program, and has been awarded significant grant funding from the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity and the Charles Butt Foundation.   

Most recently, the College was named in honor of Terry B. Rogers, a longtime Panhandle-area educator, following a $5 million gift to WT’s One West campaign from her husband, businessman Dyke Rogers. 

Henderson is believed to be the longest-serving dean of the Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences, and is believed to be one of the longest-serving deans in WT history. James B. Roberts was head of WT’s Department of Education under various names from 1949 to 1967. Dr. Sue Park was dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities from 1988 to 2007. 

Henderson earned his bachelor’s in psychology and his master’s and doctoral degrees in education at Texas Tech University, where he also earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree. Prior to joining WT, he served as senior vice president and market executive of the trust division of Bank of America in Amarillo. Henderson is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and has many years of experience representing public school districts and educational institutions, including representing WT in its merger with The Texas A&M University System. 

Recruiting and retaining the best faculty and staff members is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. 

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.