names new dean
This week Antioch College President Joan Straumanis announced that, beginning
this summer, Dr. Richard T. Jurasek will become the colleges new
vice president and dean of faculty.
Im very pleased, said Straumanis. He brings with
him a wealth of experience at a college similar enough to Antioch that
we can consider him a pro. He also brings a judicious and patient personality.
Straumanis also expressed appreciation for the search committee, led by
faculty member Jill Yaeger and composed of students, faculty and staff.
They worked hard, were extremely conscientious and came up with
a wonderful dean, said Straumanis.
Jurasek is pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable,
said Straumanis, but hes happy for us to call him Rick.
Currently, Jurasek, 56, serves as dean at Augustana College in Rock Island,
Ill., a position hes held for five years. Previously, he served
22 years on the faculty at Earlham College, where he taught German language
and literature and served as associate dean. While at Augustana, Jurasek
also taught classes in film studies.
Leaving the job is current Dean of Faculty Hassan Nejad, who has held
the post the last several years. A longtime college faculty member who
teaches political science and international relations, Nejad has wanted
for several years to return to full-time teaching, Straumanis said. After
taking next year off on sabbatical, he will return to the department of
social and global studies.
Jurasek, in a telephone interview, stated that hes eager to begin.
Out of the 600 liberal arts colleges in the country, maybe 100 are
really strong and distinctive and a smaller set of only two or three dozen
are truly historically unique, he said. Antioch has always
been in my imagination one of those historically strong, unique institutions.
Familiar with Antioch for more than 25 years, Jurasek was especially attracted
to its tradition of co-op learning.
For more than 50 years, Antioch has been defining quality experiential
learning, both domestic off-campus and overseas, said Jurasek, who
listed experiential learning as one of his professional specialities.
His greatest challenge, Jurasek believes, will be doing his part to help
increase student enrollment by strengthening the colleges academic
program. The college already has a good program, he said.
We need to make sure the quality continues and that we get the good
A native of the Cleveland area, Jurasek received his bachelors degree
from Ohio University and his masters and doctorate from Ohio State.
He has also studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Leipzig in Germany,
and Vienna in Austria. According to Straumanis, he has published numerous
textbooks, articles and presentations, in the areas of German studies,
film studies and educational innovation.
Jurasek will officially begin his duties on August 18. He and his wife,
Barbara, who teaches German at Earlham College, plan to live in Yellow
Springs and are currently house-hunting. The couple has a daughter, who
will be leaving for college this fall.