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University of Dallas Announces New Staff Appointments

Irving, TX (08/27/2021) — The University of Dallas has announced three new staff appointments: Associate Professor of English Greg Roper, Ph.D., BA ’84, as interim dean of students; David Ma, Ph.D., as director of institutional effectiveness and research; and James Hubener as director of financial aid.

“I’m grateful to be able to announce that Greg Roper has agreed to serve as our Interim dean of students,” said Interim Provost and Associate Professor of Economics Tammy Leonard, Ph.D. “He brings exceptional knowledge of and commitment to the mission of UD, many years of experience in the classroom and on various committees on campus — including committee work in the Office of Student Affairs — and a great desire to serve for the good of our students. Moreover, it is my hope that in taking on the interim dean of students role during this transition, Greg may help us to discover ways for closer collaboration between faculty and the Office of Student Affairs when we do welcome our new permanent dean of students.”

After receiving his B.A. from UD, Roper earned his M.A. and doctorate from the University of Virginia. He returned to UD to teach in August 2000. His interests focus on Middle English literature, rhetoric and composition, literary theory, and pedagogy. He has published essays on Medieval penitential manuals and their influence on late Medieval literature, on the Canterbury Tales, and on teaching survey courses and literary theory. He has also published a book, titled The Writer's Workshop, that uses ancient and medieval notions of imitation to help students write better. He enjoys advising students about career plans and graduate school.

“Julia Carrano was the best dean of students we have had in a very long time, and everyone is sorry she is moving on, but happy that she is on to a new adventure in her life,” said Roper. “I was asked, and am humbled and excited, to step into the role as interim dean of students and lead the superb staff that Julia formed. The Core and the mission offer us at UD an unparalleled opportunity to create a full, seamless education for the whole person, led by the riches of Catholic anthropology, a robust interpenetration of faith and reason, and the great tradition of UD students living in community — laughing, discussing, arguing, playing and praying together. A UD education is a strenuous and challenging but ultimately joyful education, and I'm excited to help students achieve that goal from my new perspective.”

David Ma has over 15 years of experience working in institutional effectiveness and research. His previous work at two universities and a system office to provide analysis and data support has prepared him well to make immediate contributions to the UD community. Ma holds two master's degrees in public policy and administration and management information systems from Mississippi State University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah. Ma recently moved from Utah to Irving with his wife, Lydia, and their two children.

"I am honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as UD's director of institutional effectiveness and eager to carry out the position's data reporting, institutional research, student learning outcome assessments and other requirements,” said Ma. “My ultimate goal is to empower faculty, staff, administrators and other stakeholders by enabling timely access to meaningful and accurate data and reports."

James Hubener’s connection to UD started long before his birth, when his mother, graduating in 1964 from a small West Texas high school, set her sights on attending what was then a relatively new college in Dallas/Fort Worth: the University of Dallas. While she was not able to complete her education at UD, the friends she made stayed with her throughout her life and drove her to complete her education later in life. 

Born in Dallas in 1969, Hubener grew up in Duncanville, where he lives today. After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a B.A. in political science, he began his career in financial aid at Northwood University in 1997. Within two years, Hubener had moved to the University of Texas at Dallas, where he worked until he transitioned to the Dallas College (formerly the Dallas Community College) District in 2009. Hubener holds several NASFAA credentials, including Professional Judgment, Needs Analysis and Direct Loans, among others. With six children ranging in age from 3 to 17, as well as four dogs, Hubener and his spouse, Candis, fill their leisure time with youth basketball, birthday parties and filling in holes in the yard. 

“I have always seen my role as a financial aid professional as facilitating access to higher education so that the student can be set on a pathway to transform their world,” said Hubener. “We do not always know where that transformation will lead, but it is an exciting journey. I am excited to join UD because the faculty and staff are committed not only to the education of the student but to transforming their lives and the communities they impact.”

About the University of Dallas

The University of Dallas, located in one of the largest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas of the U.S., is a leading Catholic institution with campuses in Irving, Texas, and Rome, Italy. Known for the academic rigor of its undergraduate liberal arts curriculum, rooted in Western and Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of Dallas also offers flexible graduate degrees in business, liberal arts and ministry, all taught by an exceptional faculty who are committed to the pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue. For more information, visit udallas.edu.

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