The last of the three candidates for the position of dean of the college, Dr. Charles Stinemetz, spoke to a group of about 20 students last Thursday, discussing what drew him to academic administration and, ultimately, to Knox.
“It may sound a little bit corny, but I really want to provide a service,” he said. “That’s really what I’m interested in: making a difference.”
Having previously served as an academic administrator and biology professor, Stinemetz is currently interim provost at Ohio Wesleyan University. In this position, he has surveyed students about what aspects they wanted added to their educations and worked to implement new programs accordingly.
This has included promoting courses with short-term travel components, creating a $250,000 grant fund for student research and, most recently, organizing a variety of co-curricular activities on campus during the election season.
“Those are all things that our students told us they wanted to do, and it’s really been critical to try to bring the resources to bear to do those things as well as rallying the faculty around it,” Stinemetz said. “When you’re trying to get the faculty to agree on something, what I always bring them back to is, ‘What’s in the best interests of the students?’”
Stinemetz said he was attracted to Knox because of its commitment to the student experience, especially in the face of limited financial resources.
“You have less resources than the other two institutions that I’ve been at. Resources can be fixed,” he said. “Understanding a mission and buying into it, that takes a lot longer.”
Were he to be selected for the position, Stinemetz would spend his first 100 days sitting down with people who report to him and working to understand what they do. He would also plan to be a regular presence at club and athletic events.
Along with finalists Dr. Bonnie Irwin of Eastern Illinois University and Dr. Laura Behling of Butler University, Stinemetz was selected during a national search for a replacement for current Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde, who has served in that capacity for nearly 18 years. Breitborde will step down in June and take a one-year sabbatical before returning to teach anthropology.
Comments from students who attended the candidate forums, as well as feedback from faculty and staff, will be compiled for the Dean Search Committee to use in making its final decision.