Furman has four academic deans who support the university's academic and administrative operations. Providing leadership for academic
programs, procedures and policies, these deans help shape the academic experience of the university's students.
Dean of Faculty
Kenneth D. Peterson is the Dean of Faculty and the John D. Hollingsworth, Jr., Professor of Economics. He joined the Furman economics faculty in 1990 and chaired the department for twelve years. As Dean of Faculty he is responsible for the faculty, academic departments, interdisciplinary minors, and the units that support all undergraduate programs. His teaching interests include microeconomic theory, urban economics, population economics, environmental economics, and research methods in economics. He is particularly fond of introducing students to economic ideas in the introduction to economics course.
An outstanding teacher and mentor, Professor Peterson was the recipient of the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching. His research interests have been in the areas of hedonic house pricing, parking policies and environmental impacts, and social capital. Professor Peterson has also supervised numerous undergraduate research projects through the Economics Department’s summer research program.
He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his B.S. in economics from Iowa State University. His research examines the extent to which property values are affected by environmental and neighborhood traits, the causes and consequences of varying social capital levels within neighborhoods, the economics of higher education, and the economics of college athletics. A graduate of Leadership Greenville Class XXI, he resides in Greenville with his wife, Chirinjev.
Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures
Jeremy Cass is Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Spanish. Since joining the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in 2004, Jeremy has taught elementary and intermediate Spanish, Latin American literature and civilization, first-year writing seminars on Latin American topics, and interdisciplinary LAS seminars with colleagues in MLL, History, and Philosophy. He has traveled extensively with Furman students in Spain and Latin America. He publishes on a variety of Latin American literary topics. Recent work includes articles on Chilean writer and film director Alberto Fuguet and Cuban-American writer Oscar Hijuelos. A past president of the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, which has held its meeting at Furman at various times throughout the organization’s 60-plus-year history, Jeremy became editor of the MIFLC Review in 2015.
As Associate Academic Dean, Jeremy ensures that academic regulations are followed, manages students on academic probation, oversees cases involving violations of academic integrity and appeals of academic regulations, and assists faculty, students, and parents with concerns about academic issues. He supervises staff in Furman’s Center for Academic Success and works closely with a variety of offices in Furman's Division of Student Life.
A graduate of the Furman class of 2000 with a B.A. in Spanish, Jeremy completed graduate work in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky, earning M.A. (2003) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees in Latin American literature.
Jeremy’s wife, Anna, an epidemiologist by training, is a faculty member in Furman’s Health Sciences Department. They have three children—Addy, Charlie, and Oliver.
Associate Dean of Mentoring and Advising and Associate Professor of Psychology
Michelle Horhota is the Associate Dean of Mentoring and Advising and an Associate Professor of Psychology. She joined the Furman psychology faculty in 2008. As Associate Dean of Mentoring and Advising she is responsible for the strategic oversight and coordination of Furman’s advising and mentoring efforts in a manner that is consistent with the Furman Advantage’s promise of an integrated four-year pathway and interconnected community of advisors and mentors.
Michelle earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in Cognitive Aging, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. Michelle teaches General Psychology and courses related to Adulthood and Aging. She also teaches a course on minimizing memory decline for seniors in the OLLI program. Her research examines the social judgments of older adults, perceptions of ageism, and the role of beliefs and stereotypes on memory performance. Dr. Horhota has mentored over 20 student researchers through the Psychology Department’s summer research program, resulting in numerous co-authored papers and posters at regional and national conferences.
Dr. Horhota was the recipient of the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Advising in 2017.
Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience
Brad Harmon is the Assistant Dean for the First-Year and Second-Year Experience and provides leadership, management, and coordination of all programming and initiatives that facilitate first-year and second-year undergraduate students’ transition, thriving, and success. He is responsible for working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and administrators to implement an intentional set of programs and initiatives that support the first two years of the developmental four-year pathway outlined in The Furman Advantage.
He is primarily responsible for the first-year and second-year academic advising program. He also serves as the academic director for Furman's Engaged Living learning communities program and is responsible for the overall strategic vision and development of the academic content for this program. He collaborates with Student Life staff to plan new student orientation programs as well as first-year, second-year, and junior-senior year experiences. He also develops training and workshops on college adjustment issues as well as counsels students on academic planning and works with those students who are experiencing academic difficulties.
Brad is a Furman graduate of the class of 1997, where he earned a B.A. in history, and he has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia. His career has included work in both academic affairs and student life. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Dean in 2015, Dr. Harmon spent six years working in Furman's Division of Student Life where he served as the administrative director for Engaged Living, had oversight of the residence life program, and developed the Student Conduct Board. He serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions.
Dr. Harmon's research focuses on the peer mentoring of first-year undergraduate students, a passion that was cultivated from his experiences as a First-Year Advisor (FRAD) while he was a student at Furman. He continues to collaborate with Housing and Residence Life staff on the development of FRADs as well as develops training modules and workshops for first-year experience peer mentors.