Karen Fontenot, a professor of communication who has served as interim dean of Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences since 2009, was appointed dean of the college, the university said in a news release.

The appointment follows a nationwide search and has been approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, Southeastern’s managing body.

“Dr. Fontenot’s experience as a professor, department head and service as interim dean of the college make her highly qualified for this position,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tammy Bourg said. “The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is Southeastern’s largest college in terms of student enrollment, number of faculty and number of academic programs. It is also one of the most diverse in terms of degree programs.”

A Hammond resident, Fontenot is a specialist in the field of interpersonal, intercultural and business communication and is an author or co-author of about 70 articles published in professional journals. She has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and a doctorate in communication theory from LSU.

Fontenot has been a member of the Southeastern faculty since 1992. Previously she held several positions at LSU in the Department of Speech Communication and the College of Business Administration.