December 18, 2017

Dec. 18, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last months, as eligible faculty considered the voluntary severance incentive, we have waited to make decisions on filling faculty positions for next year. I want to thank all of you for your patience as we reached the Dec. 1 deadline and worked with eligible faculty in the past weeks to finalize the process.


As of Dec. 15, twelve faculty have accepted and filed the required paperwork for the separation incentive; a few others have applied but have not yet completed the process. In addition, two part-time and one full-time non tenure-track faculty have notified us of their plans to retire this year.


This week, Dean Kevin Kraus will be in contact with department heads who have requested hires to let them know of the decision about their requests. Decisions about these requests are based on ensuring academic quality, meeting student academic interests, and addressing budget challenges. We will move forward with some of the requests for tenure-track positions and work with department heads to meet additional needs of departments with non-tenure track positions. We will provide information about the positions in the New Year after the departments have been notified.


Re-Accreditation Assurance Review Team

Members of the Re-Accreditation Assurance Review Team have been named and will begin working to prepare Luther College for an on-site visit in 2019 by a peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission. The Luther team will prepare an assurance argument with a supporting evidence file, as well as demonstrate compliance with all federal Title IV program responsibilities.

The on-site visit in 2019 concludes a comprehensive evaluation of Luther College by the Higher Learning Commission in our 10-year Open Pathways re-accreditation cycle. Another key element of our cycle is the completion in 2018 of our quality initiative, which is the Next-Steps-for-Sophomores program.

Re-Accreditation Assurance Review Team:

  • Brad Chamberlain, interim dean for institutional planning and mission
  • Jon Christy, director of assessment and institutional research
  • Britt Rhodes, associate professor of social work
  • Terry Sparkes, assistant dean and associate professor of religion
  • Amy Weldon, associate professor of English
  • Jeff Wilkerson, associate dean and professor of physics


Student Success Committee

A new Student Success Committee has been named to continue our work on student retention, including assessing information about students who have not completed their Luther degrees, as well as the structures and programs that help students succeed. The committee will also develop pilot projects to support current students and provide information for building a fully integrated four-year student success model.

Student Success Committee:

  • Andrew Bailey, assistant controller financial services
  • Jon Christy, director of assessment and institutional research
  • Ron Ferguson, assistant professor of sociology
  • Derek Hartl, associate vice president and director of admissions
  • Corey Landstrom, vice president and dean for student life
  • Lindsey Row-Heyveld, assistant professor of English
  • Lisa Scott, interim dean for institutional equity and inclusion
  • Stephanie Travers, associate professor of psychology
  • Gwen Van Gerpen, director of student academic support center
  • Jeff Wilkerson, associate dean and professor of physics

Spring Convocation Speaker
Sonya Malunda, president of the Associated College of the Midwest, will be the Spring Convocation speaker on Feb. 8, 2017. President Malunda began as ACM president in October. Prior to that, she served at the University of Chicago for nearly 20 years, most recently as Senior Associate Vice President for Civic Engagement.


As this year draws to a close, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.   Paula J. Carlson President, Luther College