Announcing Transition Appointments

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Jean Garcia-Chitwood, Sarah Phillips, Jaye Cee Whitehead and Jim Moore, as they prepare to take on new interim roles at Pacific University.

The following interim appointments will be effective Dec. 15, as Narce Rodriguez retires from her roles as vice president of student affairs and chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer.

Jean Garcia-Chitwood, who currently serves as director of the Student Multicultural Center, will become interim vice president for equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. Jean earned her bachelor’s in speech-language pathology and master’s in post-secondary, adult and continuing education from Portland State University, as well as a PhD in community college leadership from Oregon State University. She has spent her career in post-secondary, K-12 and early childhood education, most recently as director of student services for Current Wayfinding Academy in Portland and previously in roles with Tillamook Bay Community College, Oregon State University, Oregon Coast Community College, and Portland Community College. She has been a passionate advocate for equity, inclusion and student access to education and careers. 

Sarah Phillips, who currently serves as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and vice president of enrollment management, will become interim vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. Sarah has been a member of Pacific’s faculty since 1995 as a professor of sociology. She also has served as director of the School of Social Science and associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business. She was named interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2017 and permanent dean in 2018. She added the role of vice president of enrollment management in 2021.

During Sarah’s interim role as vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, Jaye Cee Whitehead ‘00 will serve as acting dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Jim Moore will become acting director of the School of Social Sciences. 

Jaye Cee graduated from Pacific in 2000 with a bachelor’s in sociology and went on to earn her master’s and PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She returned to Pacific as a visiting assistant professor of sociology in 2007 and was promoted to professor in 2018, when she became the director of the School of Social Sciences and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. She is a scholar in the field of gender, sexuality, social theory and family with multiple publications. As associate dean, she also initiated the College of Arts & Sciences’ EDI strategic plan, organized efforts to review the academic standing process, and led the implementation of Pacific’s new Master of Nonprofit Leadership Program.

Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Leland Stanford Jr University, a master’s in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a PhD in political science from Northwestern University. He is an associate professor of politics and government and the director of political outreach for Pacific’s Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement. He also is sought after as an analyst and commentator in the political arena. During his 20 years at Pacific, he has served two terms as chair of the College of Arts & Sciences faculty and he is currently the undergraduate faculty representative on the Board of Trustees.

We will begin a national search for the vice president of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility this spring, followed by a national search for the vice president of enrollment management and student affairs during the 2023-2024 academic year. In the meantime, we also recently began our national search for the vice president of university advancement position.

As we work through this transition process, I will be shifting from a President’s Cabinet to a President’s Council model for leadership at Pacific.

I deeply appreciate Jean, Sarah, Jaye Cee and Jim’s willingness to lead through this period of transition, and I look forward to great days ahead.

My best,

Jenny Coyle ’90, OD ’93, MS ‘00

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022