In one way, the 2014-2015 academic year just got defined by one big project: I became interim Dean of Academic Affairs on 10 September. Being the chief academic officer is a big jump, even from all the administrative things I was doing. But the college community has been very supportive in addition to the president’s confidence in appointing me.
Even the biggest projects are made of individual parts and so there are three things that look as though they will define the year.
First and foremost is the preparation of the college’s five-year interim report to our accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This involves working together with Institutional Research and nearly every campus constituency.
Next are the faculty evaluations that are part of every year, but this year brings us evaluations of different kinds for twenty-five of our seventy-three full-time faculty. That’s a lot of letters to write and attention to give to what is a very serious process (especially with the five tenure applications). We also have two unusually important faculty searches to do.
And finally, something that has personally chafed me for years; the state of the academics portions of the college website. The reasons are complicated and go back many years but the basic problem is that we’ve never adequately brought out the quality of the faculty that we have or the Christian personalism and commitment to teaching that drives us. It’s time we did something about that.