New faces for fall

by Jasmynne Sloan

Simpson recently hired five faculty members after an extensiveinterview process in the criminal justice, education, English,philosophy, political science and religion departments.

The only department searching for a new addition that did nothire one was the political science department. The position inpublic policy was offered to two candidates, but both turned itdown.

Bruce Haddox, the academic dean of students, said a searchcommittee was in the process of deciding how to meet the needs ofthe political science department.

“I have a feeling we’re going to continue searching come earlyfall,” said Haddox. “We’ll have to start early and find the personthat’s right for Simpson College.”

New Additions

Roxanne Ryan will be joining the criminal justice department inthe fall. Ryan is currently the assistant deputy for Iowa’sAttorney General and, according to Haddox, she has been asuccessful prosecutor for many years. Ryan has a doctorate incriminal justice.

The education department hired Barb Ramos. A search committeebegan looking for the person to fill this position last year, butwas unable to find someone. Ramos does not have her doctorate yet,but she’ll begin classes to earn it soon. Ramos worked in publicschools and as an adjunct professor for 14 years.

The English department will be strengthened by AdrienneLamberti, a Simpson alumna. According to Haddox she will beteaching composition courses, a new position within the Englishdepartment. Lamberti attended Iowa State University for her M.A.and Ph.D., where she taught composition for several years.

Allison Wolf was hired to teach courses in feminist philosophyand ethics for the philosophy department. Wolf is currentlycompleting her doctorate at Michigan State.

Mark Gammon has been teaching religion and ethics for a yearalready at Simpson. He was originally hired for one year, but hasnow been hired as a long-term faculty member on a tenure track.

Hiring Process

According to Haddox, it’s uncommon to hire so many facultymembers in the spring. He said the number was higher this yearbecause the positions in criminal justice, English and philosophyare new to the college.

“As the student body grows in number, our faculty needs to growin number, too,” said Haddox. “We’re hiring five people, but onlytwo of them were hired to fill existing positions. Clearly the newpositions have made all the difference to the total number.”

Each of these new faculty members visited campus for anextensive interview process, including meetings with the president,dean, director of the first-year program, director of thecornerstone program, department chair and the search committee.They also usually make a presentation to students, attend areception open to all faculty members, and eat lunch with studentsat Pfieffer Dining Hall.

Even though Gammon has been teaching here for a year, he wentthrough the same day-long interviewing process.

“It’s long and awkward but necessary,” said Gammon. “It’s notideal to do it over the course of one long day, but a lot of thehiring process has to do with the personality match between theperson and the school and it takes time to see that.”

Sophomore Bradi Smith ate lunch with a candidate for theposition in the English department.

“I’m glad they’re giving us the opportunity to be a part of theprocess,” said Smith. “It shows that they’re making an effort togive our opinions value, but I don’t know how much of an influencestudents have on the final decision.”

Gammon said meeting students was an important part of hisdecision to teach at Simpson.

“You need to get a sense of how you’ll get along with thestudents,” said Gammon. “Also, meeting them is a good way to figureout the academic quality of the school.”

Haddox said the entire process of hiring new faculty members istaken very seriously.

“At one level all you can do is cross your fingers,” saidHaddox. “Sometimes you hire someone and they don’t work out quitelike you’d hoped, other times you aren’t sure this is the rightperson and they turn out to be wonderful.”