In search of a new Vice President for Academic Affairs

Shelby DeHaven, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 10, 2013

Dr. Barry Kopetz speaks to faculty, staff, and students during his presentation addressing the future of higher ed and SU.

Dr. Barry Kopetz speaks to faculty, staff, and students during his presentation addressing the future of higher ed and SU.

The committee deputized to find the next vice president of academic affairs has been hard at work since the announcement that Dr. Bryon Grigsby would be leaving at the end of this semester, headed to his alma mater, Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary, to serve as president.

The search committee is chaired by President Tracy Fitzsimmons and co-chaired by Director of University Libraries Christopher Bean. The rest is composed of individuals from “various constituent groups, including faculty, staff, and students” Bean said.

More than 120 applicants sent in materials. When examining them, in addition to academic credentials and professional experience, “experience as an administrator was also important, as was creativity, flexibility and a willingness to work collaboratively with all groups,” said Bean.

After a series of phone interviews, the pool was narrowed down to three candidates: Dr. John Mangan, Dr. Barry Kopetz and Dr. Adrienne Bloss.

Mangan was the first candidate to visit campus. Currently vice president and dean at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he has also previously served as assistant dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Yale University. Mangan holds a Ph.D. in history and education from Columbia University, a master’s in music from Yale University, and a bachelor’s in music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

During his April 1-2 visit, he made a presentation which addressed the future of higher education and how that will factor into developments at Shenandoah University. There was discussion of the growing global enterprise in both commercial and educational aspects, and ways that S.U. could grow along with it: for example, massive open online courses which would allow students to take free online classes with classmates all over the world.

He also discussed studying the majors and minors offered at S.U. and looking at what could be added in order to better prepare students for the careers of the future. These courses would most likely focus on the computer and technology fields. Another idea was expanding the foreign language course selection to include other languages like Chinese and Arabic.

Mangan stressed the importance of helping students who want to be successful get the resources that will help them to do so.

The second candidate, on campus from April 3-5, was Kopetz, a professor of music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to teaching, he is a member of the school’s Higher Learning Commission, heads special projects in the Office of the Provost and serves as chair of the Faculty Senate and chair of the Department of Instrumental Performance. During the 2010-2011 academic year, he received an American Council on Education Fellowship at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Previously, Kopetz has held faculty positions at the University of Utah, the University of Minnesota and the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s from Ohio State University, and a doctorate with distinction from the School of Music at Indiana University.

In the opening remarks of his April 4 presentation, Kopetz stressed that higher education is about students and them receiving the education they came to get. As VPAA, he would handle the administrative pieces so that professors can focus on creativity and teaching. Throughout the entire presentation, one of the biggest themes was creativity, or thinking “side to side.”

Like Mangan, Kopetz also stressed the importance of preparing students for employment in the future. He pointed out that professors needed to be trained to use technology to better teach the students who have grown up using it. He concluded by saying that, while he doesn’t have all of the answers, he is excited for the conversation.

The last candidate to visit our campus was Bloss on April 8-10. Bloss is currently the assistant dean of academic affairs and general education at Roanoke College, where she also teaches computer science and mathematics.

Previously, Bloss taught computer sciences at Virginia Tech. She holds a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, and has both a master’s and Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University.

In 2006, she completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University. She was also nominated to be a fellow for the American Council on Education for the 2010-11 academic year.

At the conclusion of these visits, the search committee will contact the references for each candidate and collect input from members of the campus community who got the chance to meet them.

“We hope to make a decision before the end of April,” said Bean.

Once a candidate is chosen, the goal is to have them on the job by late summer.

Categories: Home

Tagged as: ,

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s