Campus 411

Dodgers star gives $1M to IHSLos Angeles Dodgers third baseman, and Indianola native, Casey Blake gave back to his former school district in a big way. During a school board meeting Monday night, Blake and his wife Abbie donated $1 million to the Indianola Community School District. The money will be used to complete a planned expansion of the Indianola Middle School, as well as adding additional athletic facilities to be used by students at all levels, Indianola Superintendent Mike Teigland said. Blake is an 11-year veteran of the major leagues. He played his first full season with the Cleveland Indians in 2003. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, and has played in the National League Championship Series the last two years. Despite playing in sunny Los Angeles for most of the year, Blake chooses to make his off-season home Indianola, where his family still lives and works. His dad, Joe Sr., owns an insurance business in town, and one of his brothers, Ben, is Simpson’s head baseball coach. “It’s great that he can help out the community we all grew up in,” Ben Blake said. “Casey has done a lot for the community, but this is getting the most attention.” The school district is hoping the public will match Casey Blake’s donation, and reach their $2 million goal.       — Zach Jevne/Staff Writer Wehrenberg now full-time chaplainAfter spending one semester as the interim chaplain, Fritz Wehrenberg assumed full-time Chaplain responsibilities on Feb. 1. Wehrenberg said he is thrilled about the opportunity.   “It was not only unexpected, but unimagined,” he said.   Wehrenberg joined the Simpson community in August after Associate Dean Jim Hayes, asked him to fill in temporarily while the school searched for a chaplain. Over winter break, Wehrenberg was asked to join Simpson full-time.  Jim Thorius, vice president and dean of student development made the announcement in an e-mail to students on Monday. “We look forward to his continued good work and leadership of the Chapel and religious life programs,” Thorius said. Wehrenberg said interacting with students is one of his favorite things about working at Simpson. “Students have been welcoming and fun,” he said. Before coming to Simpson, Wehrenberg served as a pastor at the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University. He has more than 34 years of experience in campus ministry. “It’s a treat to come to a small school where people are choosing to be part of a community with a religious heritage,” he said. Wehrenberg looks forward to working with other areas of the school, including Admissions and Advancement. He said he also plans on reaching out and developing stronger relationships with other Methodist churches.                   — Emily Schettler/Editor in Chief Faculty delay assessment voteThe faculty voted Tuesday to postpone voting on an assessment plan for the new curriculum until its March meeting.  “In the meantime we plan to further study the proposal and comments and questions that were brought up in the open forums,” said Professor Steve McLean, chair of the Assessment Program and Review Committee, which proposed the plan.  The purpose of the assessment plan is to help faculty members determine the effectiveness of the curriculum. It will also play a critical role in the school’s re-accreditation.  It’s “important because we as a faculty can learn and whether our curriculum is doing what it’s supposed to do and if it isn’t we can evaluate it and make it better,” McLean told The Simpsonian.  The current plan would assess the Simpson Colloquium, and each of the seven areas of engagement and seven embedded skills twice over an eight-year period. The curriculum would be assessed as a whole in the ninth year.  To provide data, students would be asked to upload assignments from courses designated with embedded skills or areas of engagement into an electronic portfolio. Members of the assessment committee would then draw samples from the portfolio to analyze if students were learning the outlined objectives of the curriculum. APRC presented the plan to faculty members in January and held open forums last week to answer questions and address concerns.  Faculty members and students expressed concerns about the time commitment and cost of the proposal.  After hearing these concerns in the open forums, McLean requested on behalf of the APRC that the committee receive more time to re-evaluate the plan. A form of the curriculum assessment plan is expected to be voted on in March.            — Allison McNeal/Copy Editor & Emily Schettler/Editor in Chief