With the 2017-18 academic year quickly drawing to an end, Pacific University officials and administrators are already looking to the future. According to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Sarah Phillips, the 2018-19 year is already shaping up to be another couple of semester packed full of new initiatives.
“We’ll have some things in place for next year that we’ve never had before,” Phillips said. “With Mike Geraci being the Director of the Core and Ashley Evans directing writing in the disciplines.”
The College of Arts and Sciences will additionally welcome Professor Jaye Cee Whitehead to her new position as Director of the School of Social Sciences next year. Phillips said the college will also continue working with the Director of the Center for a Sustainable Society Michelle Larkins, in an effort to integrate sustainability practices into each discipline.
“We have a lot of things going on next year,” Phillips said. “The trick will be for faculty and students to hang in there. It’s a lot in a short period of time to manage.”
According to Phillips, department sizes may vary next year as well, as faculty members decide to retire from, or leave Pacific. One department that will shrink in terms of faculty size next semester is the History Department.
In terms of replacing or rehiring faculty members, President of Pacific Lesley Hallick said that process is heavily determined by student interest and student credit hours.
“Every time we look at a faculty position, either because someone has left or someone has retired, we look at the student credit hours in that area,” Hallick said. “When we’re deciding whether or not to replace that person or position, it really is driven by student demand.”
Phillips said she also foresees a slight rise in the hiring of adjunct faculty members for next year.
“We’ve not actually had an increase in adjunct faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences over the last few years,” Phillips said. “We may have an uptick next year, but it’s nothing like the national averages.”
Phillips, who is finishing up the first year of her two year appointment as the interim dean of CAS, said she was happy with this year’s efforts from both faculty members and students.
“I expect the faculty are exhausted, but they have done a really great job and I am grateful for everyone hanging in with me,” Phillips said. “I was also really proud of the students in the various forums that were held. They argued responsibly and kept things from getting personal, I was really impressed by that.”