Gregory Spaid named an associate provost
P rofessor of Art Gregory P. Spaid has been named associate provost and director of assessment at Kenyon, beginning July 15, 1999. The announcement was made by Provost Katherine Haley Will.
Will noted that creation of the new position was necessitated by a requirement of the North Central Association of College and Schools (NCACS) that institutions conduct ongoing assessments of their academic programs and of the outcomes for their students. Spaid will work with Professor of Economics Bruce L. Gensemer, who has been coordinating the assessment activities that will culminate in the NCACS reaccreditation team's visit to campus in the fall of 2000. Spaid will seek to integrate many of these evaluative efforts into the College's standard operations.
"Greg Spaid will be an excellent leader for this effort, bringing both expertise and the insight gained as a long-time teacher at Kenyon," said Will. "We are very pleased and grateful that so distinguished a member of the faculty was eager to take on these new duties, to lead the assessment effort, and to assist the administration in other ways."
Spaid, who will report to Will and maintain an office in Edelstein House, plans to join the administration on a full-time basis for the next two years. Then, following a year-long sabbatical, he will return to his teaching and his creative endeavors.
A member of the faculty since 1979, Spaid is a 1969 graduate of the College who went on to earn an M.F.A. with an emphasis in photography from Indiana University. He has also taught at Indiana and at Berea College. This summer, he will participate in the "field school" for community historians sponsored by Kenyon's Rural Life Center and the Library of Congress under the direction of Professor of Sociology Howard Sacks.
Spaid's committee work at the College has included service as a member and chair of several groups, including the Faculty Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Faculty Support of the Campaign Planning Committee. He is currently the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Course Evaluation.
With examples of his art in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art in Santa Monica, California, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Spaid has held several grants from the Ohio Arts Council and a 1987 Fulbright Research Fellowship in Italy. He has also exhibited his work--which includes documentary photography, digital photography, and photographs in combination with other media--in solo and group shows around the country, most recently in South Carolina, New Mexico, and Illinois.
Two new trustees elected to Kenyon board
A nationally known journalist and educator and a local banker and community leader were elected to the Kenyon Board of Trustees at its April 23-24 meetings.
Ken Bode, dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, is a former print and broadcast journalist--with stints at The New Republic, NBC News, and CNN to his credit--and until recently the moderator of PBS's "Washington Week in Review." He has also taught at Michigan State University, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and DePauw University, where he was John D. Hughes University Professor of Politics and the Media and head of the Center for Contemporary Media.
Bode, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Dakota, went on to earn a doctorate in political science at the University of North Carolina. He also studied at Princeton University as a postdoctoral fellow and at Yale University as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism. Bode and his wife, Margo, have two daughters, both of whom are Kenyon students: senior Mathilda and sophomore Josie.
David Trautman, president and chief executive officer of First-Knox National Bank, is the first person to hold a newly created position on the board for a trustee from Knox County. He has held leadership positions in numerous community organizations, including the Area Development Foundation, the Ohio affiliate of the American Heart Association, the Ohio Bankers Association, the United Way of Knox County, and the YMCA.
A graduate of Duke University, Trautman holds an M.B.A. from Ohio State University and a certificate from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware. The Ohio native and his wife, Joan, have three children.
Trustees approve faculty tenure and promotion awards
A t its meeting of Saturday, April 24, the Kenyon College Board of Trustees approved one tenure award, two promotions to the rank of full professor, and two second reappointments to the faculty. All are effective as of July 1, 1999.
Earning tenure, or appointment without limit, and promotion to the rank of associate professor is Rosemary A. Marusak, assistant professor of chemistry. A member of the faculty since 1993, she is a graduate of Providence College with a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. In 1997, Marusak was presented with a Trustee Award for Distinguished Teaching, which cited her "radiant enthusiasm, devotion to excellence in her field, and outstanding mentorship."
The two faculty members promoted to full professor are Joseph L. Klesner of the political-science department and Benjamin R. Locke of the music department.
Klesner, who joined the faculty in 1985, is a graduate of Central College (Iowa) with a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently serving as chair of the faculty, he will once again take up the directorship of the International Studies Program in the 1999-2000 academic year. His interests include Latin American history and politics.
A member of the faculty since 1984, Locke was recently named the first incumbent of the James and Cornelia Ireland Chair in Music. He studied as an undergraduate at Oberlin College before earning his bachelor's degree from Mary Manse College and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. Locke, who directs the College's Chamber Singers, the Community Choir, and the Knox County Symphony, won a 1992 Trustee Award for Distinguished Teaching for "bringing distinction to Kenyon's choral program and pleasure to the community."
Those winning second reappointments to the faculty are Brian D. Jones, assistant professor of mathematics, and Pamela F. Scully, assistant professor of history. Jones, a specialist in applied probability and mathematical modeling who joined the faculty in 1995, holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University. A member of the faculty since 1987 (when she first served as a visiting instructor), Scully is a specialist in South African history with bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Cape Town and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Kenyon Review wins $60,000 grant from National Endowment
T he Kenyon Review, the internationally esteemed literary magazine published at Kenyon, has received a $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the magazine's endowment. The grant is one of the largest the NEA has ever awarded to a literary magazine.
The Review has been slowly weaning itself from College support since 1994, with a plan to become financially independent by establishing an endowment tto provide long-term stability. By 2001, the Review hopes to raise $1 million, with a goal of securing a total of $3 million within five years.
"The NEA's grant provides evidence of the renewed place of significance of the Kenyon Review," said President Robert A. Oden Jr. "Clearly, the NEA sees the Review as a magazine of international importance. The grant will make significant progress toward the endowment goal, providing funds to cover all of the Review's operating expenses and hence ensuring the continuation for decades ahead of this fine journal."
Under NEA guidelines, the Review must raise $180,000 in the next three years to meet a required three-to-one match.
"The Kenyon Review is one of the oldest and most distinguished magazines in the country," said Cliff Becker, director of literature at the NEA. "We're pleased to support its ongoing stability and to help ensure that its legacy will continue into the twenty-first century."
The Review was founded in 1939 by poet and critic John Crowe Ransom, who was also a professor of English at Kenyon. During his twenty-one-year tenure, Ransom published such internationally known writers as William Empson, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren, as well as such younger writers as Robert Lowell, Flannery O'Connor, and Peter Taylor.
Today, under the editorship of David H. Lynn '76, who is also an associate professor of English at the College, the magazine's tradition of discovery and excitement remains strong. Recent years have seen such writers as Woody Allen, E.L. Doctorow, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Joyce Carol Oates in the pages of the Review, along with the brightest lights of the next generation.
The NEA, which describes itself as an investment in America's living cultural heritage, serves the public good by nurturing the expression of human creativity, supporting the cultivation of community spirit, and fostering the recognition and appreciation of the excellence and diversity of our nation's artistic accomplishments.
Bob Bunnell leaves Kenyon for Franklin and Marshall College
A fter helping to guide the College to it most successful nine-year era in intercollegiate athletics, Robert D. Bunnell, director of athletics, physical education, and recreation, has decided to accept a new challenge.
Beginning on July 1, Bunnell will assume the duties of director of athletics and recreation at Franklin and Marshall College (F&M) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He replaces William A. Marshall, who served in the position for twenty-seven years at F&M. Plans to find a successor for Bunnell at Kenyon are currently being formulated by the College.
"We are very sorry to learn that Bob Bunnell will be leaving Kenyon, even as we congratulate him on his new position," said Robert A. Oden Jr., president of the College. "Bob's leadership has been instrumental in achieving Kenyon's current national prominence in many areas of athletics. At the same time, Bob understands what it means to lead an athletic program in the context of a residential college fundamentally committed to the liberal arts. We are also very grateful to him for his work with the campus United Way over the years."
The College's prominence in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III athletics has blossomed during Bunnell's nine-year stay. While the Lords and Ladies of swimming and diving have continued to reign as the most successful programs in NCAA history, at least nine other sports in Kenyon's twenty-two-sport program have emerged as contenders for national championships. In the past nine years, the College has been represented in NCAA title events forty-nine times, leading to twenty-two national championships. Kenyon's thirty-three North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) team championships complement that success.
The slate of accomplishments extends from the College's playing fields and courts into its classrooms, as Kenyon's student-athletes have been among the most honored in the nation. In the past nine years, they have won sixteen NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, en route to ranking as the Division III leader. The College has also produced forty-one GTE Academic-All District honorees, twenty-three Academic All-Americans, and three Academic All-America of the Year honorees.
Those scholar-athlete awards, and the national and league championship trophies, all displayed in Kenyon's Ernst Center, represent only part of the emergence of the College's athletic program in the past nine years. It's a period of time that includes the growth of the athletic staff from twenty-five in 1990 to the current total of forty-one. And it includes the addition of women's softball as a varsity sport.
Bunnell was instrumental in the development of the softball program, including the construction of a softball complex that is one of the best in Ohio. He served as coach during the program's first two years as a club activity, helping to move it to varsity status in 1998, which also had an impact on the NCAC.
"I really wanted Kenyon to be the school that pushed softball over the top to become a varsity sport in the NCAC," says Bunnell. " I think that speaks well of the College's commitment to women's athletics."
After nine years at Kenyon, Bunnell says there are many accomplishments, events, and people he will remember. He admits his decision to leave the College was not an easy one.
"Now I have the opportunity to accept a new challenge, one in an area of the country that's a little closer to home for me and my family. F&M has twenty-five sports, including a Division I wrestling program, which will present a learning experience for me. But it's the kind of challenge I look forward to accepting. It's very similar to the kind of challenge I looked forward to when I arrived here nine years ago."
F&M, a liberal-arts institution with an enrollment of eighteen hundred students, competes in the Centennial Conference.
At Kenyon, in addition to serving as the College's director of athletics for nine years, Bunnell was the head baseball coach for five years. He was named NCAC Coach of the Year in 1991 after guiding the Lords to a Kenyon-record nine league victories.
Bunnell, his wife, Mary Dorsey Bunnell, and their six-year-old daughter, Kerry, are expected to move to the Lancaster area during the summer.
by John W. Anderson
Dean of Admissions
As I begin to compose this column, I can see the mail truck drive away from the rear of Ransom Hall, loaded with tubs of envelopes--some fat, some thin--that will bring the news of the Admissions Committee's decisions to our applicants to the Class of 2003. It is a poignant moment, one of excitement for the prospect of the new class, one of relief after many long days of serious work, and one of sadness for the hundreds of students who will be disappointed because they were not offered admission. Everyone on the staff has a favorite or two in that group. Before I head off to the Village Inn to celebrate with the staff, I will jot a few thoughts on what we just accomplished.
This last year of the millennium was a record one for Kenyon admissions: we received more applications than ever before. And there were not just more applicants; there were more well-qualified applicants. This made choosing the sixteen hundred or so to be admitted an even more daunting challenge than usual. How do we not offer admission to students who are National Merit Scholarship Finalists, or who have an 800 SAT verbal score, or who are nationally ranked athletes, or who have achieved other things of note? When applications are plentiful and qualifications strong, we are not able to offer admission to every good student, not even to some with extremely strong qualities to recommend them.
How do we reach our decisions? Every application file is reviewed by two readers. The first reader is the staff member responsible for the geographic region of the applicant; Liz Forman '73 reads all those from Southern California, for example. The second reader is a senior member of the staff, about 80 percent of the time the dean. The readers each rate the file on two scales, one for academic qualities, one for personal qualities. If both ratings from both readers are high, the applicant is admitted. If ratings are low, the applicant is denied. If the ratings are mixed, or in the middle, the file is set aside until all files have been read and rated.
Once all files have been read, usually early in March, we begin a committee review of all the undecided files. This year we reviewed about nine hundred files in committee, each one presented by the first reader, who outlines the strengths and weaknesses, the pros and cons for admission. After hearing the case, the committee--which is constituted of the admissions staff and chaired by the dean--discusses the case and reaches a decision by consensus. We do not vote. A discussion may last less than a minute or more than a quarter hour. Some difficult decisions--where strong opinions on both sides make consensus hard to achieve--may come up for discussion more than once.
Before committee begins, we determine how many acceptances we still have to award. This year, of the nine hundred files reviewed by the committee, we could admit only about four hundred. Each of those nine hundred candidates was admissible, each had attractive qualities and achievements, making committee an emotionally and intellectually challenging process. It is through this careful weighing of each applicant's strengths and weaknesses, though, that we build a strong class.
Crafting a class is like making a quilt. As pieces of cloth of various shapes and colors are sewn together to create a pleasing whole, so, too, a class is built by choosing students who are different from one another but who fit together and complement one another's talents, achievements, experiences, and goals. There is no ideal Kenyon applicant; there are many ideal applicants. Recognizing this variety is what makes our job fun and makes Kenyon the interesting, intellectually prosperous, and richly talented place it is--and always has been.
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