Pro­fessor of History Mark Kalthoff will take over as dean of faculty next semester. External Affairs
Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Chem­istry Matthew Young is set to become the dean of the natural sci­ences next semester. External Affairs

Pro­fessor and Chairman of History Mark Kalthoff will assume the dean of faculty position, and Chairman and Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Chem­istry Matthew Young will become the dean of natural sci­ences beginning in the 2019 – 2020 aca­demic year.

Kalthoff will take over from current Dean of Faculty Daniel Cou­pland. This will be Kalthoff’s third term in the position; he served two terms pre­vi­ously from 2005 – 2009, after Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn asked him to stay for a second term.

As dean of faculty, Kalthoff will serve pri­marily as a mid­dleman between the faculty and the admin­is­tration.

“In the role in the past, I lost track how many times I was in the top floor of Moss Hall for meetings, either in the provost or the president’s office, because I was involved in con­ver­sa­tions and learning about how the college works,” Kalthoff said. “As dean, it is your respon­si­bility to rep­resent the admin­is­tration to the faculty and to rep­resent the faculty to the admin­is­tration. So you are neither fish nor fowl, but a little bit of both.”

Among the dean of faculty’s other respon­si­bil­ities are leading faculty meetings and par­tic­i­pating in sab­batical, summer leave, edu­cation policy, and nom­i­nating com­mittees. He will also serve on Hillsdale’s hiring com­mittee.

“There are only three people that every can­didate for a job at Hillsdale inter­views with: pres­ident, provost, and dean of faculty,” Kalthoff said. “I will get to have some voice in shaping the faculty hiring.”

As dean, Kalthoff said his main goal and measure of success will be to go pri­marily unno­ticed.

“What do you see when you look at a duck on a smooth pond?” Kalthoff asked. “It looks like it’s just relaxing. On the surface, every­thing is smooth, but under the surface, he is pad­dling furi­ously. Often admin­is­trative jobs, cer­tainly the pres­ident, the provost, and the deans’ jobs here, are a little like that. There is lots of stuff to do, but it can be dif­ferent issue every day.”

After serving as chair of the chem­istry department for three years, Young will also be stepping up the admin­is­trative ladder. He was nom­i­nated by the natural sci­ences division faculty and has accepted the position as dean of natural sci­ences. He will be taking over for Pro­fessor of Chem­istry and Dean of Natural Sci­ences Christopher Van Orman, who filled the role for 13 years but is now replacing David Whalen as college provost.

“The position is somewhat intim­i­dating in the sense that Dr. Van Orman’s shoes are big shoes to fill,” Young said. “He’s been the dean for quite a while. I don’t take that lightly. He’s an excellent example for me to try and follow.”

Despite his slight trep­i­dation, Young said he is looking forward to taking on the position, espe­cially because it will allow him to work with younger teachers and help them develop as faculty. One of his roles as dean will be to observe pro­fessors in the classroom and provide them with feedback and dis­cussion.

“What I like to see is people with genuine concern for the stu­dents and genuine enthu­siasm for their subject,” Young said. “This is some­thing that we see a lot. Most cases getting a chance to work with other faculty is an inspi­ra­tional activity.”

Young said one of the projects he is most excited about is the increas­ingly inter­dis­ci­plinary nature of the science department.

“We had the pres­ident of Biologos come speak last semester, an event that facil­i­tated con­ver­sation between science and other dis­ci­plines,” Young said. “This is some­thing that I’m excited to con­tinue to explore.”

Of his suc­cessor, Van Orman had only pos­itive rec­om­men­da­tions.

“Dr. Young has a great under­standing of the role of science within the liberal arts, and he is a tremendous teacher who truly cares about the edu­cation of the stu­dents. His stu­dents describe him as an ener­getic pro­fessor who is fair but chal­lenging,” Van Orman said in email. “He pushes them to learn the beauty of chem­istry and how it inte­grates into their daily lives.  Under his lead­ership, I’m con­fident that the science division will flourish.”