Dean’s office expands by two

by Molly Crain
News Editor

Now that Dr. William F. Pollard has officially stepped down from the position of Transylvania’s dean of the college, Dr. Kathleen Jagger will be serving as his replacement. In addition, there will be two associate deans working in collaboration with Jagger in efforts to continue to move the university forward.

“We are looking first at our faculty to see if they are interested and able to fill those positions,” said President R. Owen Williams. “Should we not find anyone we can look beyond our own campus.”

Realizing that the associate dean position projected would require a hefty workload, a division of the office was agreed upon.

“We’ve had one associate dean supporting the dean of college. We have come to realize that the services we need to provide are far greater than any two people can do alone,” said Williams. “So what we are doing is expanding the capabilities of the dean’s office.”

Posted on Inside Transy are the job listings for the two associate deans positions — one for first-year experience and advising and the other for academic development and initiatives.

“Really these two are to replace me, not to replace Dean Pollard,” said Jagger. “(The) office (of the associate dean of the college) works on the academic side. Dean (Michael) Covert works on the student life side (as associate dean of students). And together we kind of make the whole thing work.”

The applications for the two associate dean positions are due Friday.

For the first-year experience and advising position, “the individual will coordinate the administration of the first-year experience (including August term, first-year seminars, creative engagements, and first-year advising),” according to Inside Transy.

Some of this individual’s responsibilities will be working with the fall curriculum for incoming first-years.

“There’s just a lot of change happening all at once,” said Jagger, “and we need to make it a seamless first-year experience. … Someone needs to keep tabs on how all that is happening.”

Certainly, the first year of college can often be a difficult struggle.

“What we know is that most students succeed if they can make it through their first year, but our problem, as regards retention, generally surfaces within the first and second terms of the first year,” said Williams.

He hopes that the first-year experience and advising associate dean would help to eliminate some of these struggles.

Dealing with a completely different side of the spectrum will be the associate dean of academic development and initiatives, who will “support faculty development such as new faculty mentoring, training faculty and search committees in diversity issues, and conduct research/writing for grants to support new academic initiatives,” according to Inside Transy.

Together, the associate deans will be working on a five-year strategic plan that will be further discussed and will have the potential to create new initiatives for students, faculty and staff.

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