Professor Anne Harris appointed to Vice President of Academic Affairs, Larry Stimpert returns to teaching


Anne Harris, a professor known for her coveted classes in DePauw University’s Art and Art History department, will now reach students across all majors.  This July, Harris was appointed Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) by President Brian Casey.  

This fall marks Harris’ 16th year at DePauw. Most recently she has served on the Writing Curriculum Committee (2011-2014) and the team that implemented Extended Studies changes during the 2013-2014 year.  

In a press conference last Tuesday Harris said that she felt “Called to serve at the pleasure of the President,” in overseeing many of DePauw’s academic functions and working with the faculty this year to further develop recent changes to curriculum. 

The change in administration was driven by Casey in July, just one month before announcing his resignation as DePauw’s University president at the conclusion the 2015-16 academic year. 

Of the change, Casey said, “It was sort of a complex set of things. You have to always make sure the chemistry of your senior team works.” 

Harris is Casey’s fourth VPAA in what will be his eight-year term at DePauw. 

Harris’s predecessor, Larry Stimpert has stayed at DePauw as a professor of economics and management and has been asked to support Michelle Vallinski, director of the McDermond Center and Management Fellows program.  As VPAA, Stimpert appointed Vallinski during the Spring of 2014 after a sudden departure of the previous director, Gary Lemon. 

Harris said she is excited to see the work that Stimpert will do in the McDermond Center. 

Casey claimed the change in position was not a result of any disagreement with Stimpert. Stimpert declined to interview with The DePauw at this time. 

“I thought we could make some shifts on the academic affairs side and have him because his PHD is in business,” Casey said. “and I thought given his interest over there we could move him there and bring Anne up in Academic Affairs.” 

Harris has three big areas of focus for the year: developing the new graduation requirements that will take effect in the fall of 2016, faculty development of classes to revolve more around life’s work and further development the global and local awareness requirements with the new Power, Privilege and Diversity courses. 

“It’s going to be a year of good conversation,” Harris said. 

One conversation that has not happened is with her, now former, students.  Due to the speedy transition in July, Harris has had to drop the classes she was scheduled to teach this fall.  Her love for students is evident and she hopes to return to teaching next year. 

Sophomore Kirsten Haulk had signed up for one of Harris’ classes this fall and was unaware that Harris will not be teaching this fall.  

“I would like to know something about it and who’s teaching the class so I know if I still want to take it and give us enough time to chose another course or stick with it” Haulk said. “I was really looking forward to her teaching that class.”

“This is definitely the year to say, who knows what the future will bring,” Harris said.