EMU Names First Full-Time Graduate Dean
Pa. Businessman Will Start Job On July 1
Posted: March 4, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Eastern Mennonite University’s expansion of graduate programs has led to the creation of a new senior leadership position at the university to oversee them.
Provost Fred Kniss announced this week that Pennsylvania businessman Jim Smucker has been selected as EMU’s first full-time graduate dean, the seventh position that directly reports to President Loren Swartzendruber.
“We’re now operating six master’s degrees and we think there’s potential for several more in addition to growing the ones we currently have,” said Kniss.
David Glanzer, professor of graduate counseling, served as interim graduate dean on a part-time basis since the position was created in 2009, according to Kniss.
Smucker, 51, will be the first person to hold the position full-time. Prior to the creation of the position, Kniss oversaw graduate programs. President and a major shareholder of Bird-in-Hand Corporation, which oversees multiple hospitality businesses in Pennsylvania’s Dutch country, Smucker will take over the position at EMU on July 1.
“[He] is a strong academic and intellectual leader,” Kniss said. “He’s an academic at heart who’s been working [in] the business world for a number of years.”
Smucker received his undergraduate degree from Goshen College, and a master’s and doctorate degree in management with a focus on effective leadership and organizational change from the University of Scranton and Walden University, respectively.
He has taught on an adjunct basis at Walden, Lebanon Valley College and EMU.
Smucker said he is particularly interested in EMU’s “focus on the common good” and aims to serve the Mennonite church through his work.
While he doesn’t have any predisposed priorities, Smucker said he’s interested in using his past leadership experience to grow graduate programs, particularly online learning.
“So much of what a dean position is, is managing people and resources and that’s what I’ve done the last 25 years in business,” Smucker said. “I think there’s lots of potential [at EMU].”
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