Photos courtesy of Pepperdine University and University of Utah
Pepperdine announced the three finalists for Dean of International Programs on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Two of the candidates come from the Pepperdine community – Ronald Cox, associate dean of International Programs, and Charles Engelmann, director of Pepperdine’s Shanghai program. The third candidate, Beth Laux, is the director of Learning Abroad at University of Utah.
Each candidate will spend a day interviewing and attending faculty and student forums in the Fireside Room. Laux’s will take place Feb. 12, Cox’s on Feb. 13 and Engelmann’s on Feb. 14. Each of the forums will take place from 2:05 to 2:50 p.m. on the designated days.
“International Programs are critically important to Seaver College and the college experience,” Dean of Seaver College Michael Feltner said. “The [IP] dean is responsible for delivering the international program experience, and so they ultimately are responsible for the quality of the international experience for over 80 percent of Seaver College students.”
Feltner said the role of the IP dean is significant for several areas of students’ development.
“Delivery of academic program, the student life experience, the service opportunities, the cultural enrichment activities – all of those contribute to the educational, the spiritual growth [and the] developmental experience of students,” Feltner said. “So whoever the next dean of International Programs is, ultimately they have the responsibility of ensuring that this important part of the Seaver College educational experience is successful for our students.”
The search for these candidates began in the fall of 2018 when current Dean Charles Hall announced he would be stepping down from the position at the end of the academic year. Hall has been the dean of International Programs for over 13 years. After a year-long sabbatical, Hall will return to teach sociology at Pepperdine.
“We’ve been blessed in IP to have amazing leadership … through the 14 years of leadership that Dean Charles Hall has provided,” Feltner said. “The next dean is going to have the tremendous opportunity to stand on [the previous deans’] shoulders and build from that platform, but also to bring their unique skill set, their unique vision and experience and look at ways we can leverage where we’re at to grow and become even more successful in the future.”
Students and faculty can give their opinions on the candidates following the forums in an online survey, which will remain available until Feb. 21.
Follow Madeleine Carr on Twitter: @madeleinecarr23