Julienne Empric, Ph.D., to begin her term as Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs at Eckerd College in July – News
Empric succeeds Suzan Harrison, Ph.D., an alumnus of the Class of 1978, following Harrison’s 10-year service as dean of the faculty.
“As someone who has served on almost every faculty committee over the years…I have had experience with the academic dean’s most important interfaces with the faculty,” Empric said in a memo to the faculty on Thursday, February 17. “I am immensely grateful that Dean Harrison has graciously offered his assistance. I hope to build on the momentum she has created in many wonderful directions over her past 10 years as Dean. And I hope to hear, especially from all of you, what remains to be done as we move forward together.
President Damián J. Fernández, Ph.D., announced the appointment earlier Thursday.
“Julie is known as a strong College supporter and faculty champion; I am delighted that she accepted my invitation to fill this role,” said Fernández. “Julie is the right person to guide us through this transition and drive key priorities for the year ahead. We will continue to pursue the multi-year initiatives of our strategic plan that will strengthen our problem-focused, place-based and goal-oriented education, hand-built and practical for high impact.
Empric’s career at Eckerd College began in 1974. The graduate of Nazareth College in Rochester earned her Master of Arts from York University in Toronto and her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. His main teaching responsibilities at Eckerd include Shakespeare, English Literature and Theater History. Her experience began as a teaching assistant and instructor at Notre Dame before being hired as seminar director of the Summer Shakespeare Institute Graduate Program at the University of Bridgeport.
Since joining the College, she has held several positions outside of the classroom: Eckerd College Teaching and Learning Conversations Coordinator; president of the College of Letters; several terms as Director of Eckerd College London Study Centre; and President of Foundations Collegium.
Empric plans to finish teaching its spring semester courses—Intro to Literature: Short Fiction; Children’s literature and the environment; and Shakespeare: Page, Stage, Film—before spending this summer as acting dean of the faculty. During his tenure, the College will conduct a national faculty-led search for the next Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.
“I find myself increasingly excited to do all I can over the next year of transition to help continue our momentum,” Empric wrote, “and to capitalize on the hard work and resilience that everyone in this community has contributed, especially over the past two difficult and exhausting COVID years.
Harrison will return to his permanent position at the faculty after a sabbatical year beginning July 1.
As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Harrison:
- Oversaw the development of new academic programs – including Animal Studies, Film Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts and Marketing – and the creation of three new BFA degrees in Creative Writing, Theater and Musical Theater
- Support for the creation of seven new minors: Ancient Studies, Arabic, Data Science, Entrepreneurship, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Latin American Studies and Sustainable Development
- Successfully orchestrated two accreditation reaffirmations in 2010 and 2020
- Presidency of the Eckerd College Strategic Plan 2016-2021
- Supported faculty in countless ways, including improving the annual review and tenure process, supporting academic programming reviews, and strengthening academic support services
- Overseeing renovations and new construction to support the academic program: the Sheen Complex, the Seibert Humanities Building, and the Nielsen Center for Visual Arts
“For 10 years, Suzan served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty,” Fernández said. “She has dedicated her professional life to the College, and we are grateful for her impressive accomplishments on behalf of Eckerd.”