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Jagger named associate vice president and associate dean

Kathleen JaggerKathleen Jagger was recently named to the full-time position of associate vice president and associate dean of the college. She was formerly in a half-time position as associate dean of the college while continuing her teaching as a full professor of biology.

“Kathleen has brought enormous energy and creativity to her work as associate dean of the college,” said William F. Pollard, vice president and dean of the college. “Although this position was originally created as half-time, her efforts have always been full-time. I am pleased that her new position will provide her with greater opportunities to work on behalf of the college and our students.”

Jagger’s responsibilities, which officially began January 1, include the development of new initiatives in such areas as student advising, faculty mentoring, and curriculum development. She will also teach one course per academic year.

Enriching Transylvania’s already extensive program of student advising will be a primary focus for Jagger in her new role. She views advising as something that goes far beyond the essential task of helping students choose a course schedule.

“When I speak to entering students in the fall, I tell them that our purpose as advisers is to have you imagine what would be the most fulfilling life, and then help you create the possibilities that will let you realize your dreams,” she said. “We want our advisers to help students become intentional about their overall academic plan and to develop the habits of becoming a scholar in a community of inquiry.”

Among the specific areas students will be encouraged to explore more fully, said Jagger, are planning ahead for study abroad and looking into internships and shadowships that put them in a working environment to help them with career choices.

“We want to be sure that students appreciate all the opportunities here at Transylvania that are relevant to their goals,” she said. “To me, that’s the most precious part of advising. Every time you meet with your students, you want to continually expand their knowledge of themselves and the possibilities in their future.”

Jagger will also work to enhance the process of acclimating new members of the faculty to their responsibilities.

“We have to bring everybody into the fold, not just students,” she said. “We have to help our new faculty members understand the culture of Transylvania and what’s expected of them. We want them to become the best teachers, researchers, and scholars they can be.”

In the area of curricular development, Jagger said a faculty task force has proposed a new outline for the curriculum that includes a three-week August term for entering students.

“The purpose of this course is to help students make the adjustment from high school expectations to college expectations,” she said. “A lot of students, even the very good ones, struggle in their first semester because of that adjustment. This non-graded course will give them an idea of the depth of investment in academics that will be required of them.”

Jagger takes both a specific and a very broad view of her role, and sees her new position as giving her the opportunity to impact many areas of the university’s academic life.

“I consider myself to be a person who’s nurturing the advancement of our institution through our faculty members and our students,” she said. “I like to work with peoples’ ideas, their imaginations, to take the best of those ideas and make them happen.”

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