Senior administrators to step down

Three senior members of Linfield’s administration are stepping down at the end of this semester, leaving gaps in Linfield’s upper echelon of managers.
Dean of Students, Vice President of Student Services and Professor of Economics Dave Hansen, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Frederic Ross and Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs Victoria McGillin will cease to hold their positions at the end of May.
Hansen has been the dean of students for 22 years and will remain at Linfield as a part-time professor of economics.
“I want to experiment a little with the concept of retirement,” he said, adding that it was time for fresh blood to take control of his position.
Hansen began working at Linfield 43 years ago. He described a much different Linfield in his early days.
“The main difference is resources,” he said. “Linfield had a very small endowment — still has a small endowment — but it was smaller then.”
Hansen began as a professor of economics. He said that his background was not in personnel or student management, which made his job more difficult at the start.
“Being the dean of students allows me to have an impact on a wider variety of students than as a teacher,” he said. “I’ll miss working with folks in this division. They’re good fellows who really care about the students.”
Linfield has launched a nationwide search for a new dean.
“They have a very good pool of candidates,” he said. “I think we’ll have a very talented replacement.”
Another long-time Linfield faculty member, Ross, will be retiring at the end of the semester.
Ross is the first senior adviser and assistant to the president, a position
created by President Thomas Hellie three years ago.
He said the president convinced him to delay his retirement for a few years because Hellie wanted him to be his adviser.
The senior adviser and the president’s office organize board meetings. One of Ross’ duties is to ensure that decisions made during faculty meetings are executed.
“My job is to make sure that things are set up outside of those meetings — special task forces and other things,” Ross said “It sounds boring, but I’m working with an exciting and talented group of people.”
Ross said that he was inspired by the president’s vision for the college, including sustainability and increased diversity.
Ross has been at Linfield for 26 years, 23 of which he spent as a professor in the education department.
The last major administrator, McGillin, is taking a leave of absence at the end of the semester. She will be writing a book based on 10 years of her research about psychological pressures and resistance in an educational environment.
McGillin, a psychologist by discipline, has studied risk and resilience in college students and faculty at her previous institutions.
“I was interested in resilience in populations of young people who had everything going against them and should have developed psychological problems but did not,” she said. “I found that same question in students arriving at college with a bit more baggage.”
McGillin has been the dean of faculty at Linfield for two years. She was previously a faculty member at Texas Williams and Clark universities, where she said she followed students as they went through college and used them as a sample population for her currently unnamed book. She said her book research helped her succeed at Linfield.
Joshua Ensler
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