Pollard’s Dedication Gains National Fame

<a by Erica Clark

“In your dedicated service to Transylvania University … you have demonstrated outstanding creativity and leadership.” “You have helped develop programs and lead sessions.” “You have touched the lives of countless chief academic officers.”


Dean Pollard’s work at Transy earned his award from the Council of Independent Colleges.

These are a few of the phrases found handwritten on William F. Pollard’s 2010 Chief Academic Officer Award given by the Council of Independent Colleges for his leadership as Transylvania’s vice president and dean of the college.

The CIC is a national organization comprised of over 600 independent colleges and universities. Each year, the chief academic officers’ task force of the council nominates candidates for the Chief Academic Officer Award. Out of the CIC’s entire membership, only one award is given each year. This year, Pollard holds this distinction.

“I was certainly honored and surprised by the award,” said Pollard. “In many ways I simply represent the good work that is done by my colleagues around the country.”

As a chief academic officer, Pollard is responsible for all academic programs and for support offices such as the registrar’s office, the library and the career development center.

The award recognizes his work for the CIC and other service on behalf of independent colleges and universities.

“It is chosen based on who has been helpful to liberal arts colleges both regionally and nationally,” said Pollard.

For Pollard, the council cited his service on the chief academic officers’ task force, his chairing of sessions, his leadership in panel discussions and his organizing of workshops for CIC meetings.

In addition, the council cited his work with the commission on colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Pollard has served on 16 reaffirmation committees for SACS and has chaired six of them.

The CIC also noted his work here at Transylvania with the liberal education seminars that Transylvania runs every summer for faculty from liberal arts colleges nationwide. This annual seminar was Pollard’s idea.

“I wanted to create it for Transylvania. Each year presidents and chief academic officers get an invitation from me to nominate a faculty member from all national liberal arts colleges,” Pollard said. “We usually get about 60 applicants and we only take around 15.”

Applicants come from colleges as far as California and New York to as close as Tennessee and other colleges in Kentucky.

This effort to help liberal arts colleges on a national level is one of many things that qualified Pollard for the award.

“The nicest thing about this award is that it came as the result of a polling of all the vice presidents and academic deans of the member colleges,” said Pollard.

Last year William T. Young Jr., chairman of Transylvania’s board of trustees, and his wife Barbara Young received the same award for Philanthropist of the Year.

“They got it last year and I got it this year, so Transylvania’s cleaning up,” Pollard said.


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