Next year, Jo-Ann Brant, professor of Bible, religion and philosophy will be taking on a new role at Goshen College: interim vice president for academic affairs.

Brant will be replacing Ross Peterson-Veatch, who is the current interim vice president. Brant will work with Peterson-Veatch to ensure a smooth transition.

“My role as an interim vp,” Brant said, “will be to make sure that all the regular work of the Academic Dean’s office is completed so that the academic programs run smoothly.”

The interim vice president for academic affairs serves on the President’s Council and leads all aspects of the academic division.

“In this role, Jo-Ann is responsible for collaborating with the faculty through established governance processes, managing the academic affairs budget, course and curricular planning and supporting the delivery of academic programs and academic student services,” said Ken Newbold, provost and executive vice president.

According to Newbold, Brant’s previous experience at GC as a faculty member, SST unit leader and engaged scholar in her field give her a set of skills needed as an academic administrator.

“As the interim vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Brant brings a commitment to the core values of the institution, excellent communication skills, dedication to shared governance and passion for student learning,” Newbold said.

There will be a variety of teams of people working on different aspects of the academic projects, and Brant will oversee them as a whole.

“As an interim appointment, I will be jumping into the flow of many major projects that are underway at the level of the President’s circle as well as academic program and faculty development,” said Brant. “I plan to pull my paddle in tight rhythm with others so that the boat stays on a strong course.”

Brant’s role as an interim officer means that she can benefit the institution by being more than a place holder.

“I come into the role with what administrators like to call political capital that I do not need to worry about saving for the future,” said Brant.  “An interim officer can get some things done that have needed to [be] done for a while.”

Newbold said that a search committee went through a discernment process with input from various constituents on campus who participated in interviews. It was then determined that the timing of filling the role more permanently did not align with the ongoing presidential search.

“A search for a permanent vice president will take place in the next academic year as we will welcome a new president,” said Newbold. “Dr. Brant has agreed to serve in this role for one year through June 2018.”

Brant feels fortunate that the office has been left in good order by the previous two deans, and she plans on continuing to work on the things that were being worked on before.

Brant is most looking forward to creating a space for faculty for the philosophical dialogue that needs to happen in order to make decisions about the future.

“I also [hope] to find ways of engaging with the student body that will help energize me,” said Brant. “President’s Council members be warned! I am already dreaming up possibilities for our contribution to Kick-Off.”