As the 2017-2018 school year approaches department and administration changes occurred on EKU’s campus. This year six departments introduced faculty members who have worked within the university, but are new to being chair of their department.

After a failed search for a new provost, the office welcomed Deborah Whitehouse following the retirement of the previous provost Janna Vice. Vice retired on June 30 and Whitehouse promptly filled the position on July 1. Whitehouse has worked for EKU since 1989 first as a professor, then associate dean of health sciences, dean of health sciences, chair of nursing and now interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. Whitehouse will be provost for this school year and once the year comes to an end the university will conduct another search for a provost.

“This is an important year,” Whitehouse said, “We’ll focus on doing the things we do best – programs and students.”

Alongside the Provost Office, the Department of Communication introduced Deborah Givens as the new chair after the previous chair of the department, Pam Parry, resigned. Parry now works at Southeast Missouri State University as chair for the Department of Mass Media. Givens said she began her EKU journey in 2005 and prior to being chair was assistant professor in journalism. Givens said her plans for the department include starting new programs, successfully implementing multimedia news program, expandThe Eastern Progressmedia to be more reflective of the multimedia news program and use podcasts to help programs within the department and other parts of the university.

“From a big picture perspective, the first priority of AFIS, and of EKU, is to provide quality education for our students,” said Trish Isaacs, associate chair for the Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems.

Isaacs became associate chair of the department due to the fact the current chair, Oliver Feltus, is on leave. Prior to becoming associate chair Isaacs said she was associate professor of accounting and has been in the position for five years. Isaacs said the department has numerous plans such as encouraging student interaction with practicing professionals, risk management and insurance program will launch a fully online program and information systems to build a network of alumni and employers and the finance program to continue its development of a banking program.

“We also offer opportunities for our students to develop foundational professional skills, which they will further develop throughout their careers,” Isaacs said.

The Department of Management, Marketing and International Business brought Weiling Zhuang as interim chair for the upcoming school year. Zhuang said the goals of the department are to support faculty members, staff and students and to try and grow the program.

“This is a great opportunity to serve EKU and help the MMIB department,” Zhuang said, adding that he is excited for this semester.

Two departments within the College of Education brought two new chairs. The Department of Education Leadership introduced William Place and the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education welcomed back Laurence Hayes.

Hayes has worked for Eastern since 1989 and isn’t new to the position of chair. He said he started as a professor, then permanent chair in 2007, moved to the Dean’s Office in 2015 and returned to become interim chair of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education this year. From 2015 to 2017, Hayes said, because he became associate dean, Amy Milcznski became interim chair during that time. As of right now, Hayes said the department’s goals are to become one of the top five American Sign Language programs in the nation – the same goals he said he’s had since 1989.

“I’m always happy to work with the department,” Hayes said, adding that he is supportive of faculty, staff and the mission of EKU.