Photo by Sarah Good
Dr. Karen Henck

Dr. Karen Henck has stepped down as chair of the Language, Theatre, and Communication Arts Department, effective at the end of the spring semester.

She has served in the role since 2005, but recently made the decision to step down from the position to give herself more time for personal projects.

As chair, Henck was required to attend meetings, write proposals, and act as the go-between for the department and the administration. Ultimately, the job simply took up too much time, Henck said.

“The past five or six years [as chair] have been particularly arduous because of the curriculum revision,” Henck said. She added that stepping down from the position will allow her to spend “more time with [her] kids.”

Provost Dr. Wooster said it is common for department chairs to serve on a rotating basis.

“Dr. Henck has faithfully served as department chair since 2004-2005 and has asked to step out of that role so that she can focus on some exciting projects that she has begun.”

She will continue as the department chair for the rest of the semester. Professor Michael Ballard, an associate professor for the department and chair of the Division of Arts and Letters, will be taking over in the fall for at least the 2014-2015 academic year while a replacement is found.

“The provost and I will initiate a search for an additional tenure track faculty member,” Ballard said. “We anticipate that the new hire will soon be appointed department chair.”

Henck will remain in her tenure position and expects to help the new chair when he or she is hired. Both Henck and Ballard believe the transition will be short and smooth, with little negative impact on the department.

“Because this is typically a cyclical process, generally there is little, if any, impact on a department as others rotate into the position,” Wooster said.