Sharp and Shutt take on new roles as administrators
The reorganization of the College's academic division, announced in October 1996 by President Robert A. Oden Jr. and Provost Katherine Haley Will, has taken a major step forward with the appointment of current faculty members to two key positions. John Crowe Ransom Professor of English Ronald A. Sharp has been named associate provost, while Associate Professor of English Timothy B. Shutt has been appointed to the newly created position of faculty assistant to the president and the provost.
"After two and a half years as Kenyon's president, I'm pleased to announce this quite substantial reorganization of the College's academic division," says Oden, who notes that both Sharp and Shutt will serve on his senior administrative staff. "With these appointments, we continue to advance Kenyon's standing among America's finest colleges."
Oden praises Sharp as a teacher-scholar "who has earned the respect of his colleagues at Kenyon and of scholars in the wider academic community." Shutt was lauded as "someone committed to every aspect of our proud definition as a residential liberal-arts college."
Will echoes Oden's sentiments, saying, "I couldn't be more delighted about welcoming these two talented people to the staff of the academic division. Both Ron Sharp and Tim Shutt bring not only demonstrated administrative skills to their new positions but also a real commitment to Kenyon, a keen appreciation for the goals of a liberal-arts education, and a thorough knowledge of the community."
Sharp, who was named to the Ransom Chair in 1990, first joined the College's faculty in 1970. A noted Keats scholar, author of such books as Friendship and Literature: Spirit and Form, and editor (with Eudora Welty) of the Norton Book of Friendship, he is a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a master's degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. In 1978, Sharp and former English professor Frederick Turner were responsible for resurrecting the Kenyon Review, which they coedited until 1982. Currently chair of the Curricular Review Committee, Sharp will relinquish that position to another faculty member but continue to work with the committee in an administrative capacity.
As associate provost, Sharp will succeed Robert E. Bennett, professor of classics, who has held the post (formerly known as academic dean) since June 1995. Sharp's duties in support of the provost will include oversight of departmental budgets and reports, faculty development activities, and the faculty evaluation process; assistance in faculty recruitment and hiring; and supervision of the visiting minority artist and minority dissertation fellow. He will also hold responsibility for new-faculty orientation and serve as the provost's liaison with the Faculty Lectureships Committee and the Office of International Education.
A Kenyon faculty member since 1986, with experience in the Integrated Program in Humane Studies as well as te English department, Shutt is a graduate of Yale University with a doctorate from the University of Virginia. He is currently serving a third one-year term as chair of the faculty. A winner of the 1993 Trustee Award for Distinguished Teaching and the 1991 William A. Long Memorial Award for his support of the athletic program, Shutt is a two-time winner of the Senior Cup, awarded by vote of the graduating class to the faculty member who has contributed most to the College and the community.
As faculty assistant to the president and the provost, Shutt will have a variety of duties involving special events and the daily operations of the president's and provost's offices. He will have oversight of such annual community occasions as Founders' Day, Honors Day, and Commencement, as well as responsibility for coordination of academic outreach programs, institutional assessment and research activities, and thrice-annual trustee gatherings.
"I'm especially delighted that we've been able to create this position and that Professor Shutt has agreed to accept it," says Oden. "I'm convinced that the responsibilities he will assume will be of great benefit not only to me and Provost Will but also to the entire faculty."
The associate provost is appointed for a three-year term, the faculty assistant to a two-year term. Both appointments are renewable. Sharp plans to take a leave of absence from the faculty during his term (although he will retain his title), while Shutt will continue to teach one course per term. Sharp's appointment is effective July 1, 1998, while the date on which Shutt's will become effective has yet to be determined.
Will also announced several other changes to be made as part of the reorganization. Registrar Richard L. Switzer will assume the new title of dean for academic services and registrar, adding to his existing portfolio such duties as advising nontraditional students; assigning, equipping, and maintaining faculty offices; and reviewing early-graduation petitions. He will also coordinate visits by outside examiners for the honors program and supervise the Writing Center and the Summer Science Scholar and McGregor Scholar programs. A member of the administration since 1984, Switzer is a graduate of Franklin College with master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.
In addition, two of the division's staff members will be reassigned. Roberta A. McPhail, administrative assistant to the associate provost, will join Switzer's staff. Vicki A. Littleton, secretary to the provost, will become secretary to the associate provost.
"I believe these new appointments and changes will make for a more smoothly functioning academic division," says Will. "All of us in the division look forward to working with the Kenyon community in our new capacities."
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