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Killen named acting provost

Patricia O’Connell Killen, professor of religion, was appointed acting provost and dean of graduate studies.

Killen replaces James Pence, who is pursuing a new vocation of service. After consulting with the deans and faculty chairs to determine the best person to fill the role, President Loren Anderson said it ultimately came down to who heard the call to serve.

“Patricia O’Connell Killen heard the call louder than others,” Anderson said. “Patricia’s remarkable record as a teacher, scholar and educational leader has prepared her well for the acting provost position.”

Killen’s goals for the year include creating a more vibrant and visual academic community and strengthening the academic culture by encouraging faculty and staff development and interdisciplinary collaboration, she said.

A member of PLU’s faculty since 1989, Killen is widely published, including two award-winning books. She has been actively involved while at PLU, including service as faculty chair, rank and tenure chair, co-director of the Wild Hope Project, and a contributing writer to PLU 2010, the university’s long-range plan.

In addition to Killen’s appointment, the university welcomed over 50 new faculty members this fall, including 17 in tenure-track positions. Many divisions will see new faces in the classroom this year. To view a list of new faculty, visit


School of Business redesigns MBA program; new dean named

The School of Business has seen several changes this summer, most notably the redesign of the MBA curriculum and the arrival of dean Andy Turner ’73.

Andy Turner ’73 is the new dean of the School of Business.

Turner comes to PLU after a successful career in private industry. He is no stranger to PLU. He was an assistant professor of business here from 1976-1983 and served on the university’s Board of Regents from 2003-2006.

He earned his doctorate from the Wharton School of Business.

Turner’s initial priorities will include overseeing the implementation of the new MBA program, developing a long-range strategic plan for the school and strengthening its position in the Puget Sound and beyond.

The new MBA curriculum features three areas of emphasis: technology and innovation management; health care management; and, entrepreneurship and closely held business.

The program has changed from a four-credit model to a three-credit model, with 45 credits required to graduate, down from 48 under the old program. The PLU MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International), and is the only part-time program in the West that requires international study. The international study is integrated with coursework in global business perspectives and may be completed at any time during the 20-month program.

“For years, academia was lagging behind industry in training and cultivating future leaders – innovation was not happening in school, but in the workplace,” Turner said. “With the new coursework, the international component and faculty with strong industry experience, our new program addresses those issues.”

All the courses in the program are newly designed and include an emphasis on technology that takes advantage of the advanced design of the new Morken Center for Learning and Technology.


Inaugural Knutson lecture features prominent Lutheran scholar

Martin E. Marty, distinguished service professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, will deliver a lecture titled “The Global Christian Energies Move South,” dur-ing the inaugural David and Marilyn Knutson Lecture on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Chris Knutzen Hall in PLU’s University Center.

Marty will address one of the three greatest power shifts in all of Christian history – the rapid growth of Christianity in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Marty will explore the meaning for Christians around the globe of the fact that the greatest vitality in Christianity today exists among people who did not grow up with the background of Greek philosophy, Roman government or “free market” wealth. He will discuss what Christians might learn through intercontinental confessional interaction, especially with regard to how these new Christians view nature, read the Scriptures, worship and understand the Christian life.

Marty has taught at the University of Chicago since 1963, and is the author of more than 50 books and 5,000 articles on the history of Christianity. He is also an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Four alums receive prestigious Fulbright awards

Nicole Melius ’01, Amanda Olson ’06, Elizabeth Jacobson ’06 and Dana LaCuran ’06 recently received Fulbright scholarships for study overseas this fall.

Nicole Melius ’01 is one of four PLU alums to receive Fulbright awards this year.

Melius will travel to Germany and Olson, Jacobson and LaCuran will go to Austria, all to teach English through theFulbright’s teaching assistantship program.

The quartet brings the total number of PLU students to receive the prestigious Fulbright Award to 71. Retired professor Rodney Swenson coordinates the program through PLU’s Wang Center for International Programs, helping students tailor their applications and answering questions.

The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946 to promote “international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.”

Reception to mark arrival of Cady collection

The collected papers of American writer Jack Cady, one of the Northwest's most distinguished, were presented to PLU this spring.

Cady, who taught writing at PLU from 1984 to 1998, died of cancer in January 2004. The collection, given by his wife, writer Carol Orlock, will be housed in Mortvedt Library on campus. A reception celebrating its arrival is planned for October 24. Memoirist, poet and essayist Stephen Kuusisto, whose best-selling memoir “Planet of the Blind” has been featured on National Public Radio, will speak, and read from his new memoir, “Eavesdropping: A Life By Ear,” published this fall.

Cady authored nine novels and several collections of short stories, many featuring characters haunted by the ghosts of history and environment. He received numerous literary honors for his work, which includes “Ghosts of Yesteryear,” “The Hauntings of Hood Canal,” “Inagehi,” “The Night We Buried Road Dog,” “The Off Season,” “Street,” “The Man Who Could Make Things Vanish,” “McDowell's Ghost,” “The Jonah Watch,” “Singleton,” “The Sons of Noah” and “Tattoo.”

The Jack Cady Promise Scholarship Fund has been established at PLU to benefit students in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. Gifts may be made to the fund through the Office of Development.


New project manager has busy summer

Major construction projects were launched on campus this summer, including the renovation of Pflueger Hall and planning for next summer’s renovation of the University Center.

New heating units were installed during the renovation of Pflueger Hall this summer.

A new position, construction projects manager, was created to handle the large number of projects. John Kaniss joined PLU in April. A Florida native, Kaniss’ past experience includes management of construction projects for both the public and private sector.

Major projects this summer included completely gutting Pflueger Hall and fitting the building with energy-efficient windows and updated plumbing, electrical and heating systems. The building was also updated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The renovation of the UC should be complete by August 2008, Kaniss said. Dining Services, meeting rooms and offices, and building systems will all see improvement, he added.

An overhaul of Eastvold Auditorium is also in the planning phase. The timeline depends on the completion of a new home for KPLU-FM, PLU’s National Public Radio affiliate station, because KPLU offices are currently housed in Eastvold, he said.


Morken Center earns LEED gold certification

The Morken Center for Learning and Technology received gold-level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in July.

The gold-level rating has been achieved by only a handful of projects in the state of Washington, and PLU is Washington’s first independent college with a LEED gold building.

Design features that contributed to the gold rating include the fact that virtually every room in the building – both interior and exterior – has access to natural light.

More important is the Morken Center’s cutting-edge geothermal heat-pump system that regulates the building’s temperature without the use of fossil fuels.

Other features that contributed to the building’s certification include: over 90 percent of the construction waste was recycled; concrete floors require no chemical cleaning products or waxes; waterless urinals in the men’s bathrooms save thousands of gallons of water per year; and stainless steel siding and roof tiles are long-lasting and “heat neutral,” meaning they don’t create islands of sweltering heat over the building like traditional blacktopped roofs.

The Morken Center is home to PLU’s School of Business, Department of Mathematics, and Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering. To learn more about the building’s sustainable features, go to


Alumnus named to congregation relations post

The office charged with strengthening and maintaining a strong relationship between the university and Lutheran congregations in the Pacific Northwest is under new leadership.

G. Lee Kluth ’69 became director of congregation relations July 1.

“I’m enjoying my new role. I have a new-found passion and enthusiasm for telling the PLU story to longtime friends, new friends and even people I have yet to meet,” Kluth said.

Kluth and his wife, Pam (Bach) Kluth ’69 both taught English in Japan for three years for the ELCA Board of World Missions. Lee then enrolled in Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1976.

He has served in four parishes in the Puget Sound area, most recently at Trinity Lutheran Church in Everett, Wash. The Kluths have four adult children.

Contact Lee Kluth at 253-535-7424 or



A national foundation for the advancement of science has awarded two PLU professors with substantial grants for research conducted in collaboration with students. Myriam Cotten and Paul Davis, both chemistry professors, have received funding from Research Corporation. Cotten and Davis were among 84 grantees in the U.S. and Canada. Cotten received $42,000 for her work with antimicrobial compounds found in fish. Davis received $45,610 for work on detection of performance-enhancing drugs.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awarded Ann Auman, assistant professor of biology, $36,000 for her analysis of microbial communities in tree canopy soils of the southern Washington Cascades.

Ed Inch was named dean of the School of Arts and Communication in May. Inch joined the PLU faculty in 1986 and served as acting dean of the department from 2003 until his appointment as dean this spring. Inch has held several important faculty and administrative positions at PLU and in professional associations. Most recently, Inch has been involved in helping to create the strategic plan for global education, plans for the renovation of Eastvold Hall and major curriculum reforms in the School of Arts and Communication. He is also the president of the National Parliamentary Debate Association.

Poet Kathleen Flenniken, a current student in the Rainier Writers Workshop / Master of Fine Arts program at PLU, recently won the Prairie Schooner Award for her first book of poetry, titled “Famous,” to be published this September by the University of Nebraska Press. Flenniken was also recently awarded a $20,000 literary fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

KPLU-FM won first place for its programs “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2006 Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Competition. Reporters Kirsten Kendrick and Jennifer Wing won a second place award in investigative reporting, while Keith Seinfeld took second in the general news category and, along with Paula Wissel and Bellamy Pailthorp, also won a second-place award in the documentary category. Austin Jenkins received awards for his coverage of Washington state politics from Olympia.

PHOTO: Patricia O’Connell Killen, professor of religion and a noted campus leader, addresses the campus community. She was appointed acting provost in May.


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© Scene 2006  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Fall 2006

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