Today I am writing to share two leadership announcements. Earlier today, Strom Thacker shared with his faculty and Academic Affairs staff colleagues that he will be stepping down from his role as Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and will be taking a year-long sabbatical. As VPAA, Strom has served as dean of the faculty and chief academic officer and has also been responsible for Athletics, Grants and Sponsored Programs, Information Technology Services, Institutional Research, International Programs, Registrar’s Office, Schaffer Library and UCALL.
In his five years as VPAA, Strom has helped our College build the new class dean model, implemented academic policy reform, overseen the creation of the Templeton Institute and the development of an emerging new general education curriculum, helped diversify our faculty, and successfully led Union to reaccreditation with Middle States. In addition, Strom has led his team through an incredibly challenging pandemic experience. I thank Strom for his dedication to Union College. His last day in the role will be August 1.
I am pleased to announce that Michele Angrist has agreed to serve as interim vice president for Academic Affairs effective August 2. I will launch an internal search later this year with the expectation that a long-term vice president for Academic Affairs will begin their term on July 1, 2022.
As dean of studies for the past two and a half years, Michele has been a valuable member of the Academic Affairs leadership team. Since 2000, she has been a member of the faculty in the Political Science department. Her research interests include: regime type, regime change, and gender and politics in the Middle East and broader Muslim World. Michele has served as chair of the Political Science Department and has served on a variety of leadership committees at the College including: the Faculty Review Board, Faculty Executive Committee and the Academic Affairs Council (ex-officio).
I look forward to working with Michele and extend my appreciation for her willingness to step into this role.
In addition, Beth R. Glassman, interim chief human resources officer, shared that she has accepted a position as vice president for Human Resources at Swarthmore College, located close to her home in Pennsylvania. While working remotely since her appointment, Beth has had a positive impact on our campus community, implementing several of the Administrative Excellence initiatives including redesigning our performance management process, restructuring the Human Resources team and adding new leadership in Talent Acquisition. I thank Beth for her leadership and partnership and wish her well in her new role. Beth’s last day with Union College will be September 3.
I have launched a national search for her replacement. This important position will continue to report to me and serve on our senior staff team.
I will continue to provide you with updates on our progress with these searches as they continue. I look forward to introducing you to our new colleagues at the beginning of the fall term.