EMU Appoints Jantzi Interim Dean

Dr. Vernon E. Jantzi

Vernon E. Jantzi does not stay retired long.

The professor emeritus of sociology is serving part time this year as coordinator of a feasibility study for the proposed Center for the Study of Abrahamic Traditions. The Center would provide a setting where practitioners and scholars belonging to the three Abrahamic faith traditions – Judaism, Islam and Christianity – could collaborate in research, training, learning and relations that further peace, just development, security and wholeness in North America and in the rest of the world.

Beginning July 1, 2009, Dr. Jantzi will serve as interim vice president and undergraduate academic dean for the 2009-10 year at EMU. He succeeds Dr. Marie S. Morris, who is completing her ninth year in the position.

The appointment was announced by Dr. Lee F. Snyder, interim EMU provost.

“Many know Vernon Jantzi as an accomplished faculty leader, an esteemed professor, scholar and servant of the church with extensive international involvements,” Dr. Snyder said. “We’re pleased that he is available to take on this transitional role.”

Jantzi’s administrative and academic experience include serving seven years as director of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding; two years as chair of the General Education and Curriculum Development committee and chair of the curriculum review committee for one of the Southeren Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation self-studies.

His international involvements include serving as director of Cornell University’s program on worker-owned and managed enterprises in collaboration with the Instituto Tecnologico de Cartago, Costa Rica and serving in Nicaragua for three years as director of the ALFALIT national adult literacy program. In New Zealand, Jantzi assisted in the founding of peace centers at two universities. He also serves on the bi-national board and executive committee of Mennonite Central Committee.

In reflecting on the interim appointment, Jantzi said, “EMU has fostered a lot of creativity in recent years. I’m looking forward to helping us move forward in that spirit amid the stress of current economic realities.”