CHADRON – Dr. James Powell has been named Chadron State College’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, President Randy Rhine announced Tuesday. Powell, the Dean of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences at Chadron State College, replaces Dr. Charles Snare, who announced his retirement in August. Powell will begin his duties Jan. 11, 2020.
“The search committee involved in this process did an outstanding job. Chadron State will benefit greatly from the depth and breadth of Dr. Powell’s experience as Dean, as well as his work at other institutions,” Rhine said. “Dr. Powell brings a student focus to the vice presidency that has been influenced by his time as a faculty member, department chair, middle school teacher, and numerous other roles in teaching and administration. The entire campus is fortunate to have a vice president who knows Chadron State well and has great ideas about how to move the college forward into the next decade.”
Powell, who received both his bachelor’s degree in English Education and his master’s in Linguistics with a specialization in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages from Ball State University, began his teaching career as a middle school teacher in Indiana. He earned a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University and worked as an Assistant Professor at Ball State in Muncie, Indiana, for 13 years.
After Ball State, Powell worked at the University of Alaska-Anchorage for six years as Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning before becoming a Professor and Director of the School of Education at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He worked at Ferris State for three years before joining CSC’s administration as a Dean in the summer of 2015.
“I am grateful to all the people involved in this process, particularly the hiring committee, President Rhine, and Dr. Snare for the diligence and care with which they managed the search process. Working at Chadron State College for the last five years has been the most rewarding and exciting part of a long career in education. At every stage of my career, many individuals provided the guidance and support needed for my continued growth. I accepted this position because I believe in CSC’s faculty, staff, and students, and hope that I can provide the same opportunities to them that I have been given,” Powell said.
Rhine said a strength of Powell’s was his familiarity with campus, including his involvement with the college’s efforts to improve student retention and recruitment, as well as the processes involved with ongoing accreditation efforts and academic compliance.
“Dr. Powell understands the changing environment of higher education well. He was integral to CSC’s recent regional accrediting process with the Higher Learning Commission, and he has helped guide the college through programmatic accreditation. He is also knowledgeable about ways CSC can provide new opportunities for professional development, for both faculty and staff, as well as the exploration of new programmatic ideas that will benefit student learning opportunities.”
Powell said CSC’s future is bright.
“I am eager to continue and build upon the positive momentum at CSC. There are a lot of great things happening here and they’re only going to continue,” Powell said. “At the center of that, I see student support and faculty and staff development. I want to focus on how the CSC community can create the processes and programs that will provide faculty and staff with the resources and support to be able to reach the goals set out in the Master Academic Plan and the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. Obviously, we will continue our concentrated efforts on the institutional and programmatic accreditation, but as demonstrated in our 2017 HLC report, those efforts depend on each and every member of the CSC community working collaboratively toward continuous improvement.”
Powell and his wife Karla, have two adult sons and four grandchildren.
Rhine said an interim dean of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences at Chadron State College will be named prior to Powell assuming the VPAA duties.
—Alex Helmbrecht, Director of College Relations