by Chrissy Zehrbach
The new academic year brings dramatic change in the face of leadership at the University of La Verne, with students and faculty welcoming a new crew of four high-level appointees at a Sept. 4 reception in the Arts and Communications Building.
Taking the helm of the College of Arts and Sciences is Fred Yaffe, while Donald Dunn will now head up the College of Law. Heading the athletic department will be Chris Ragsdale, with Taylor Ruhl assuming the lead role in the library.
“I’m very thrilled to be here,” said Fred Yaffe, the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s a warm, welcome place. Everyone feels fortunate to be here. That’s different at other institutions.”
Yaffe comes to ULV after four years as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md.
In his 36-year career in higher education as a professor and department chair of psychology, Yaffe has also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ashland University in Ohio.
Yaffe received a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and biology in 1966 from the University of Maryland. At Howard University in Washington D.C., he earned his master’s (1969) and doctorate (1972) in experimental psychology.
Yaffe succeeds John Gingrich, who served as dean for 17 years.
Succeeding Interim Dean H. Randall Rubin in the College of Law is Donald Dunn, who has served at Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Mass., for 30 years since completing his graduate work in Texas.
At WNEC Dunn held numerous positions including professor, library director, associate dean for Library and Information Resources and dean of the Law School.
He brings with him years of experience consulting with schools seeking accreditation from the American Bar Association.
His experience on more than 40 ABA site evaluation teams should prove valuable to the ULV College of Law’s ABA approval review process later this year.
“It’s going to be a night and day project getting that ready,” Dunn said of the approval review process.
Inside the Supertents, Chris Ragsdale replaces Jim Paschal as the new Athletic Director.
Paschal retired from the position after 12 years of dedication.
“My hope is to provide coaches and athletes leadership and support to continue their success,” Ragsdale said.
Ragsdale brings with him years of experience and knowledge working in Division III collegiate athletics.
Ragsdale comes to ULV from Elmhurst College in Illinois where he was Athletic Director from 1991- 2003.
Prior to that, he was athletic director at Nazareth College in Michigan as well as a coach at various institutions.
His own education culminated in a master’s in physical education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Replacing Marlin Heckman’s watch over the stacks in Wilson Library will be Taylor Ruhl.
“I really feel comfortable here, and I’m very excited about where I see the University going,” Ruhl said. “We want the library to be a friendly environment.”
The library is a familiar place for Ruhl.
He has spent 30 years as an academic librarian, the last four as director of library and media services for the Community College of Baltimore County in Essex, Md.
He has also served as dean of University Libraries at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. and director of library services at Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif.
After Ruhl picked up both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from Pacific Union College, he proceeded to earn a master’s of library science from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of the Pacific.
Each appointee was chosen by a committee from large pools of qualified candidates, both internal and external.
Advertisements were placed on the University Web site as well as relevant publications.
These searches each spanned several months over the past academic year and into the summer.
“I’m very impressed with the people we’ve hired,” said University President Stephen Morgan. “They’re a well qualified group of people. It speaks well for the reputation of the University when we can attract these kind of people.”
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.