Amy Cox was appointed chair of the department of art and design, and Dr. Jay Walls was named chair of the department of music effective Aug. 1, 2020.
Cox came to the University in 2001 in the early years of her interior design career. Since then, she has completed an MBA and a terminal degree in collaborative design from John Brown University and was recently promoted to associate professor. Cox holds a certification from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Design Educators Council. She has held regional leadership positions for ASID and is serving as campus sponsor for this professional organization.
Cox has served as director of the interior design program. Her community work includes various projects in Searcy and throughout the state, service on regional boards, and convention presentations for interior design colleagues at IDEC conferences.
Walls earned his Ph.D. in music composition from the University of North Texas in 2011. He came to the University in 2000 when he became assistant director at Harding University in Florence. After two years serving at HUF, Walls returned to Searcy as an assistant professor of music. In 2004 he was employed as a teaching fellow in music and Italian at the University of North Texas and later hired by the UNT Graduate School as coordinator of interdisciplinary studies and graduate recruitment. In 2014 Walls returned to the University and is now an associate professor of music and director of the Arts & Life performance series.
In addition to teaching, Walls is a music composer with several works in circulation. His most recent works include “The Clothes of Heaven,” performed by the University Chorus, and “Intempestus,” premiered by Dr. Andrew Cook and Dr. Wesley Parker at the North American Saxophone Alliance convention in 2018. This summer he completed a new work for the Searcy High School Orchestra.
Cox fills the role held by Dr. John Keller, who returned to full-time teaching, and Walls replaces Parker.