Washburn is losing someone great at the end of this year.
As reported on page A1, Ron Wasserstein, professor of statistics and vice president of academic affairs, will be taking the job as the executive director of the American Statistical Association.
Wasserstein has been an Ichabod for a long time, starting as a faculty member in 1984. He even use to be editor of this paper while working on his undergraduate degree.
While we are sure his accomplishments were great then, his service to Washburn as the vice president of academic affairs, has been astounding.
He’s helped redesign curriculums, create the Faculty Senate and develop the Transformational Experience. He is able to create and develop these programs because he strikes a good balance between listening to faculty suggestions and student suggestions on how to better Washburn.
At the general faculty meeting Thursday afternoon, Jerry Farley, president of Washburn, announced they would like to have a replacement for Wasserstein by this summer. While we are sure the committee and the Board of Regents, will take careful consideration into their new hire, we would like them to seek someone out who is as forward-thinking as Wasserstein is.
In the academic world, some people change jobs every couple of years. While the new hire may not be with Washburn for the rest of their career, that shouldn’t stop them from starting to develop programs, like the Transformational Experience, and thinking about the future of Washburn.
With two new deans – the dean of libraries and the dean of the law school – coming in, it’s also important the new vice president of academic affairs is ready to start working on how we can make Mabee Library more student friendly, and be able to keep our law school at the top of the charts.
While we won’t say goodbye to Wasserstein until the end of the school year, we urge the search committee to really examine what he has accomplished, and how we can build on it.