Faculty members to depart from BU

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In order to pursue other opportunities, Assistant Professor of Spanish Diego Frazier, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Val Kolesnikov and Assistant Professor of Business and Economics John Pepper will be departing from Baker University at the conclusion of the current academic year.

Rand Ziegler, vice president and dean of the college of arts and sciences, said he wishes the three professors were not leaving, but the hiring process to replace the faculty members has begun.

“Each of the three contributed to their respective disciplines in a way that will be missed,” Ziegler said

Kolesnikov said he is sad to leave his students because he has enjoyed getting to know them during his time at Baker.

“The reason I love teaching and have passion for it is the students,” Kolesnikov said. “I will remember my students and I am already missing them … When I came here, the program was shaky and we made it stable, so I am leaving it in better shape.”

Kolesnikov will become the computer science department chair for Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y.

Frazier said via email that he will be returning to the West Coast after three years at Baker “for compelling personal reasons.”

Pepper has served as a faculty member at Baker since 2005.

“I plan to use the time to complete some research that I’ve begun, do some writing and do some public speaking,” Pepper said via email.

Six newly hired faculty members will make their way to Baker’s campus next fall after the departure of Kolesnikov, Pepper and Frazier and the retirement of other former and current faculty members.

Adrianne Sommerville, an adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College, has been hired as an interim Spanish professor to replace Frazier.

Joanne Nystrom Janssen of Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, will be replacing Virginia Fambrough, adjunct associate professor of English, as an assistant professor of English.

Cynthia Woodbridge will take over as the associate professor of chemistry after the retirement of Gary Giachino at the end of the academic year. Woodbridge will come to Baker from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in West Point, N.Y.

Chris Todden accepted a position as assistant professor of exercise science Wednesday as a replacement for Mark Stutz, former assistant professor of health, sport and human performance.

The university is still looking to hire a professor for the computer science department opening.

Ziegler also said a national search for full time business and Spanish professors will begin next year.

The media department is currently the only department to hire a new faculty member position.

Ricky Thein of Bradley University will become an assistant professor of mass media.