Ackiss takes permanent job as English department head

Dr. David L. Ackiss was appointed as the new English and philosophy department head in January.  

Ackiss, who has been the interim department head since June 1, is taking the place of Dr. Dale Simpson, who had been the department head for the last 13 years.

“Many have told me both congrats and condolences,” says Ackiss.  

“It’s a job that has to be done.  I have a PhD in British literature and specialize in poetry, so there is a lot to learn.  

“There are so many different tasks that fall my way each day.  

“I enjoy the new challenges I face to help students and professors.”

His peers are proud to see Ackiss take his turn to represent the English and philosophy department in these financially hard times but know that it will be for the better.

“He’s a humane boss and brilliant and inspiring scholar,” said Dr. Cliff Tolliver, an English professor and Faculty Senate president.  

“What he has decided to do is administrating over teaching. He loves teaching, so he is sacrificing for the better of the department.”

Ackiss already has several plans for the department. “I would like to keep the English department on the track it’s been on.  I’m eager to help the English and philosophy departments work together for what I call ‘in-house professional development.’  Our faculty attend conferences that help to train them, but we have a lot to learn from each other here, so I’m hoping to share experiences here,” explained Ackiss.  “I’m wanting us to meet more to talk about effective teaching.”

When asked how the recent state appropriation cuts would affect his department, Ackiss explained that no definite decisions have been made, but he fears it may be possible that the faculty-to-student ratio may change within the next few years.

Ackiss applied for his new position in a national search. He was appointed by a search committee chaired by the dean of Arts and Sciences.