Jonathan Randle Named Interim Dean at Mississippi College
June 14, 2013
A superb English professor with a passion for British literature, Jonathan Randle is the new interim dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Mississippi College.
A professor in the MC Department of English at his alma mater since 1999, Randle began his new assignment on June 1. He succeeded retired dean Gary Mayfield.
Mississippi College leaders lauded the job performance of Randle, who earned his bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and history from Mississippi College in May 1994.
“A solid scholar, accomplished teacher and proven administrator, Dr. Randle is superbly equipped to lead his fine faculty and staff as they together continue to strengthen the educational enterprise in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences,” said Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs. “I am delighted that he is assuming this crucial deanship.”
Born in New Orleans, but a longtime Mississippian who grew up on the family cattle farm just outside Oxford, Randle got interested in pursuing graduate work at the University of Cambridge following numerous trips to the United Kingdom as an undergraduate on the Clinton campus. He earned a master’s and doctorate at the University of Cambridge where he studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic history, languages and literature.
For the past 14 years, he’s taught medieval literature, poetry and the literary works of work of such “Oxford Christians” as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings. He’s served as faculty sponsor for “The Arrowhead,” the MC student magazine of the creative arts since 2000. In addition, he’s a member of the team of editors for “Mississippi Aesthetic,” a statewide fine arts publication launched in 2013.
Staying busy as chairman of the MC English Department since January 2011, Randle said he’s looking forward to his new duties.
“I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that are ahead of us in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences,” Randle said on a sultry June morning outside his office in Jennings Hall.
“The higher education sector is changing in diverse and often bewildering ways, and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students in the school and across campus to develop innovative responses to these new challenges.” At the same time, he’s working with colleagues to “remain true to our mission as a Christian university.”
A Jackson resident, Randle and his wife, Lauren, who’s a Mississippi College graduate, are the parents of three children, Myles, Fiona and Elinor. There are other MC connections in his life. His mother is an MC English graduate. His father is a physician. In the early 1990s, Jonathan’s academic focus at Mississippi College shifted from biological sciences to literary studies.
Randle celebrates his 41st birthday on June 14th that’s better known as Flag Day. Away from the Clinton campus, the MC alum serves as a Sunday School teacher at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson. Quite familiar with the works of Chaucer, John Milton as well as literary works of the modern era, Randle serves as a leader of the monthly Poetry Circle at the church in Mississippi’s capital city.
Photo: Dr. Jonathan Randle, the interim dean of the MC School of Humanities and Social Sciences