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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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Dean of Faculty leaves BVU for higher position


Meghan Harmening | Staff Writer

On November 4, 2014, President Fred Moore sent the Buena Vista University (BVU) community an email announcing Dr. David Evans, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, will be leaving the university in January of 2015 to assume his new position as President of Southern Vermont College.

The process for Evans leaving will be slightly different than previous Vice Presidents leaving the university. President Moore has already begun talking to Faculty Senate and Deans Council, as well as Evans’ direct reports. Moore said there will be an interim vice president in the position initially. In reference to the length of interim appropriate while prioritization is happening, Moore is working on the plan of action.

“The advice I got is to have an interim that runs a year and a half in order to finish up the decision phase and the implementation of prioritization before we start looking for a new vice president,” Moore said. “I’ve received advice on both sides on whether or not to hire inside or outside, and I’m pursuing both opportunities at this point before making any determinations.”

Moore said the BVU community can look forward to coming announcements about the progress of hiring an interim vice president, and how the university officials will work the process. Moore is actively talking with a search firm about potential outsiders and soliciting advice on insiders and considering all information carefully.

Over the course of his six and a half years year, Evans says he has learned a great deal about how a university runs.

“The main thing that happens is you come in, and you have a lot of ideas and not a whole lot of knowledge about how things work at a new place. The longer you go, the more you understand the culture and what things are possible and what aren’t,” Evans said.

In the mid-1990s, Evans was on the faculty at Cornell and was aware of BVU but had never stepped foot on campus. In the early-2000s, his job at the time required a trip to other universities with modern science buildings and thus, he made a trip to BVU.

“I drove up one day to stop and look at the Estelle Siebens Science Center. So I did that and was very impressed by both the campus and especially by the science center. I applied for the job through the normal course of things and got the job,” Evans said.

Not only has Evans learned from his on-the-job tasks but also from those around him.

“I think that I’ve certainly learned a lot from working with President Moore and the other vice presidents. A lot of the time, I keep facing new circumstances and new challenges, and everyone teaches me a new lesson,” Evans said.

Southern Vermont College has roughly 500 undergraduate students on campus with no GPS-type program. One of Evans’ goals for Southern Vermont College is to better equip the school to fund student opportunities as we do at BVU. As President, he says he will set the tone in terms of celebrations for positive things, manage public relations, be out and about, and be a symbol of the college.

“I don’t get to interact so much with students [as VP], whereas, if you are President, everyone kind of knows where you are. So I imagine I’ll have more interaction with students which is good, because I kind of miss that about teaching and getting to know what students are doing,” Evans said.

Moore had good things to say about Evans’ tenure at BVU.

“I think he has been a fierce advocate for academic activity. I think he has also been one to grant students a second chance when it is merited. In terms of the programs, he hired nearly half the faculty we have now, and he has hired well. We’ve got a number of really good rising stars on the faculty that have been hired on his watch that will help sustain the university in years to come. We’ve expanded graduate programs on his watch, which is a huge growth opportunity for us and has been able to see the whole institution and has a real big picture view of the campus.”

Evans is excited to start his new job in January.

“I like learning about a new place, and that is exciting. It has a mission that I’m enthusiastic with. I’m excited to work with a new team. I love the people with whom I work here, but there will be new people to get to know. I like the people I work with here a lot. I love helping students do things. I’m very comfortable here. I believe in what BVU is doing and think it’s a wonderful place. I’ve been here awhile, and it becomes home to you. I’ve been really proud to be associated with BVU,” Evans said.

Graphic by Justice Gage

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