skip to main content

dean, college of liberal and applied arts

“the quality of an institution is not measured by the students it takes in, but by the students it graduates.”

what drew you to the higher education world?

higher education is a place where every social and cultural development finds expression. it is the crossroads where all knowledge intersects, both ancient and current. above all, higher education gives people hope for their futures. there is no other occupation that provides this combination of personal enrichment and social contribution. higher education is about self-improvement; it is not a mere career.

what do you enjoy most about your role at sfa?

a dean is a college’s academic leader who collaborates with faculty to develop a vision and ensures its implementation. the role depends upon the successful blending of creativity, innovation and motivation to achieve progressively higher standards of academic excellence. it is a job that, if done well, makes a difference. 

what do you hope students gain from sfa?

for students, a college education should be about challenging themselves to acquire the skills and knowledge to succeed across a lifetime. it is about building integrity, self-respect and a sense of responsibility. students should be proud of what they have accomplished upon graduation, but only if they have no regrets about the effort they put in to achieve their degree.

what are you passionate about outside of your role at sfa?

passion should be directed toward things that supply life with meaning. since life needs an anchor, my wife and family are my primary passion outside my role at sfa. but, in a wider sense, passion should infuse everything you do because it is the only way daily life becomes meaningful. things become trivial only when they are treated that way. a successful life is where passion exists in every breath.

education and experience

academic experience

  • Dean, College of Liberal & Applied arts 
    sfa (2007-present)
  • interim director, office of international programs 
    sfa (2009)
  • professor
    sfa (2007-present)
  • faculty associate, office of academic affairs 
    university of north georgia (2006-2007)
  • co-director, european union center 
    georgia institute of technology (1998-2007)
  • director, european union studies certificate 
    university system of georgia (1997-2007)
  • coordinator, international programs 
    university of north georgia (1996-2000)
  • director, honors program 
    university of north georgia (1995-1998)
  • department head, political science / criminal justice 
    university of north georgia (1993-2001)
  • professor
    university of north georgia (1991-2007)
  • associate professor
    university of north georgia (1986-1991)
  • assistant professor
    university of north georgia (1982-1986)
  • instructor
    university of north georgia (1981-1982)
  • teaching fellow
    miami university (1978-1980)
  • visiting lecturer
    indiana university-east (1980 – spring term)


  • ph.d., political science, miami university, 1980
  • m.a., political science, miami university, 1976
  • b.a., political science, university of dayton, 1974

awards / achievements

  • appreciation award, lumberjack battalion rotc, 2012
  • daad fellowship, german federal government, 2008; 1999
  • professor emeritus, university of north georgia, 2007
  • senior fellow, southern center for international studies, 2004
  • transatlantic bridge award, city of atlanta, 2004
  • ACE / AT&T Award, American Council on education, 2003
  • official election observer, german federal government, 2002
  • chancellor’s award for collaborative excellence, board of regents of the university system of georgia, 1999
  • research associate, europe 2020, 1998
  • excellence in higher education award, phi kappa phi honor society, 1997
  • donald t. wells award, georgia political science association, 1995
  • blood of the turnip award, president of north georgia college, 1994; 1996
  • outstanding faculty appreciation award, ngc student government, 1993
  • mcbraver award, georgia political science association, 1991
  • distinguished professor, alumni association north georgia, 1990
  • malone faculty fellow, national council us-arab, relations, 1990
  • contact

    brian m. murphy, ph.d.
    dean, college of liberal and applied arts
    p.o. box 13033, sfa station
    nacogdoches, texas 75962

    request information for future students

    please fill out the form below to receive information from sfa. if you’re not a future student and want to reach out to us, use our contact form.

    fields marked with * are required.

    who are you?*

    date of birth*

    mailing address (be sure to add your apt. or unit # or p.o. box, if applicable)*

    when would you like to attend sfa and what will be your major?

    are you any of these types of students?