Monday, February 15, 2010

PIU Challenges for 2010 #4 - Staffing

For PIU to be what we believe God is calling us to be it is going to take a lot of people. As the school grows.. if we are going to continue to be a place where Student Development takes place as faculty and staff work closely in relationship with the students, we must keep the student to faculty ratio low; if we are going to continue meeting the challenges of accreditation, we need to continue to bring in quality faculty, administrators and staff; and for the school to grow to meet the challenge of diversifying our programs, student body and staff we will need to continue to recruit quality people from all over the world to join the PIU team. The key asset of any college or university is its faculty and staff, and God has already provided PIU with many outstanding people.

We are thankful that God has already assembled a great administrative team here at PIU. It seems like Steve Stinnette (VP of Advancement) and I have been here at PIU since before Magellan came through, but God has added a great group to our leadership team recently. Dr. Eric Sorenson became our Seminary Dean in 2008. Melody Plaxton has been on our faculty for 3+ years, but just this year moved up to the Academic VP position. In August, Rob Watt moved up from our facility in Palau to head up our Student Life team and Lisa Collins was hired as our Director of Libraries. Our most recent hire was Nino Pate who leads our assessment and planning efforts. Nino is working for us now from the Philippines as we wait for his US visa to come through. Our biggest need in administration is for a Chief Financial Officer. Harumi Eliason has done a great job for us as an interim CFO but is only available through the end of April. We are now looking for the person God has called to this position.

I am also thankful for the highly qualified Bible and general education faculty God has brought our way. All of our graduate faculty and 42% of our undergraduate faculty have doctoral degrees. But more importantly, all of our faculty are committed to sharing not only information, but their lives, to minister to and mentor the students. This is something we don't want to lose as the school grows. We want to have enough faculty so all the students are able to have real relationships with faculty members. We are thankful that we have new Bible, English and Counseling faculty committed to joining us for the 2010-11 school year. Our greatest need is to find an elementary education teacher who can help us start our new teaching program. As we expand to the liberal arts we will also need Christian teachers in several disciplines who want their teaching to be a ministry.

Finally, the staff are also a key component to the success of the mission of PIU. The Student Life and office staff are the ones who most often are dealing directly with the students. It so cool that our Office Manager, Celia Atoigue and our Financial Aid Director, Delight Suda, are able to, not only help the students navigate paying bills and getting federal grants, but are also able to minister to the personal and spiritual needs of the students.  As we grow we will need more staff like them who desire to share their lives with the students.

We are confident that God is going to bring us the additional people we need to make the vision he has given us happen, but we need to do our part to go out and find them.

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