As I write this message at the close of the academic year, I am filled with pride and gratitude. The publication of the college’s annual report this year renewed my sense of pride in our college as we had the opportunity to focus on distinctive programs in the college, to highlight examples of the extraordinary work of faculty and students, and to celebrate the opportunities we have been able to extend to talented students as a result of the generosity of our alumni and friends. Also occurring this semester was the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet which brought another wave of pride when our faculty, staff, and students took home the lion’s share of the awards and honors. Messages of the achievements, awards, and recognitions of our faculty and students appear regularly in my email throughout the year signally they are competitive on the national and international scene as well. Commencement in a few days will mark the high point of my college pride in our collective accomplishment of preparing our graduates for their journey into the future.
Complementing my sense of pride is my gratitude for the privilege of leading our college and for the faculty and staff who join me every day in working to accomplish our missions and advance the college. I’m also grateful that we have withstood considerable criticism from external voices this year and the end effect is less impactful than it might have been. The experience has only strengthened and united us in our commitment to our core values.
Since the last issue of Dialogue, there are a number of leadership changes to report.
In the Dean’s Office:
- The search for the position of Associate Dean for Academic Programs has been completed. Chuck Collins was offered the position and agreed to accept it–giving up his interim title, and accepting a five-year term.
- Last year Lynn Sacco accepted a new part-time position (25%) as Director of Interdisciplinary, International, and Experiential (still developing) Programs. This arrangement has allowed the college to have a much more active and responsive interaction with the chairs/directors of various programs both within the college and across other units. Lynn has agreed to continue in that part-time role (25%) position for the next academic year.
- Angie Batey originally accepted the part-time position of Associate Dean for Diversity, defining the duties of that position and advancing the college’s diversity agenda. Through collaboration and partnership with the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, she has also worked on behalf of the college and its units to take advantage of any funding/programming that would benefit us. The initial term of her appointment was for three years; however, she has agreed to the extension of that appointment to the full five-year term.
- Brent Mallinckrodt, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, recently announced that he will leave us at the end of June to accept the position of Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, effective July 1. A search committee has been formed and Associate Dean Andy Kramer is serving as committee chair. The advertisement has been submitted for approval and we expect that position to be posted very soon. It will be an internal search, so my expectation is that we can complete the process and have someone take up that role no later than Aug 1. The position will continue to be a 50% appointment.
- As previously announced, Lynn Champion will be retiring at the end of August. A search committee has been formed with Executive Director of Development Andrew Sheehy serving as chair. The advertisement for the Director of Communications has been posted internally and nationally. Interviews will be scheduled within the next six weeks. We expect to fill this position and have a new director in place by the end of August.
- The leadership of two more departments has been resolved since the last issue of this newsletter. With the support of the faculty in the Department of Chemistry, Chuck Feigerle has agreed to another five-year term as department head. In the Department of Classics, Aleydis VandeMortel has been appointed to a five-year term as department head. She replaces Chris Craig who served as department head for two consecutive five-year terms.
I know that many of you have plans for summer research and others will be involved in teaching summer classes. No matter what your summer schedule entails, I hope all of you have an opportunity to take a break, relax, and refresh your spirit before we return in August to launch the new academic year.
Theresa M. Lee
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences