Four professors secure tenure and promotion

Leah Ulatowski, Copy Editor

In the midst of major leadership transitions at the institution, the announcement that four faculty members recently achieved tenure ascertains that a few people from Lakeland College are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Assistant Professor of Writing Nate Lowe, Assistant Professor of History Rick Dodgson, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies April Arvan, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Alicia Helion all received tenure and promotion to associate professor while Lakeland College Dean Meg Albrinck was promoted to full professor of English.

In reaction to her promotion, Albrinck said, “For anyone who is promoted there is a significant feeling of gratitude but also of satisfaction.”

Joining the faculty in 1999, Albrinck was elected as the college’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College in 2008 and also works in the English department.

According to Albrinck, when faculty members apply for promotion in rank they have to submit a binder full of information, reflection, and data that demonstrate their growth as educators.

The completed packet is reviewed by a committee of the professional’s peers and is eventually passed on to the president for approval.

In the instance of promotion from assistant to associate professor, the new title is coupled with a tenure decision.

“Tenure is a decision by the institution to [guarantee] you a contract for as long as you want one with the institution. It is a significant investment from the institution in an individual,” Albrinck said. “Tenure means that, except for in the cases of gross violation of ethics or professional incompetence, you have a place at Lakeland.”

For the majority of faculty members, they will typically apply for tenure in their sixth year of employment at the institution. Typically, they will then work another six or seven years before applying for full professor.

“It feels very good to pass this milestone,” Arvan said. “I am grateful to be a part of the Lakeland College community and appreciative of the support of the students and my colleagues throughout the years.”

Arvan became a full-time faculty member in 2007. She formerly served as a successful coach for the women’s basketball team. In addition to her teaching, she currently serves as Assistant Director of Athletics.

“I’m thrilled to be granted tenure at Lakeland. I love teaching here and I’m very proud to be a member of the Lakeland community,” Dodgson said. “Achieving tenure is a steep hill to climb, but I don’t feel that I did it alone. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues, my family, and not least, my students, all of whom helped me reach this milestone.”

Dodgson joined the faculty in 2007. In addition to teaching history, he has also written books on the subject and enjoys partaking in the local music scene in his spare time.

“I recall my colleagues and I discussing the importance of tenure even in our first years in graduate school. So for me, this is something that has been in the back of my mind for 12 years,” Helion said. “The foundation of getting tenure is just being very committed to Lakeland and, luckily for me, being committed to Lakeland has not been difficult!”

Helion joined the faculty in 2007. In addition to teaching psychology, she is an avid researcher in the field and has hosted workshops abroad for HIV prevention and maintenance.

The fourth professor to receive this honor is Lowe, who also joined the faculty in 2007. In addition to teaching writing, Lowe is also an avid writer himself. He enjoys partaking in outdoor activities and spending time with family.

“I’m really honored by the commitment that Lakeland has made to me and my teaching, and I’m really excited to continue working with the three other individuals who received tenure,” Lowe said. “I think we have a really promising future at Lakeland.”


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