Leadership Transitions Planned for Summer

Pacific University President Lesley Hallick on Thursday announced three new appointments to the Pacific University President’s Cabinet leadership team.

Ann Barr-Gillespie will become provost and vice president for academic affairs, following the retirement of John Miller in June. Sarah Phillips, while retaining her role as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, will become vice president for enrollment management, in the position currently vacant following this summer’s retirement of Mark Ankeny. Both positions become effective July 1.

In the meantime, on Jan. 1, Karla Staihar joined the Cabinet as chief of staff.

Barr-Gillespie came to Pacific in 2010 as the vice provost and executive dean of the College of Health Professions. Under her leadership, the college has more than doubled its enrollment, establishing the School of Audiology, including the Pacific EarClinic, in 2012, and the School of Healthcare Administration & Leadership, including the university’s first fully-online degree program, in 2014. She has overseen the expansion of the Hillsboro Campus throughout the Hillsboro Health and Education District, including the development of the Bachelor of Health Science, master’s programs in applied psychological science, athletic training, and pharmaceutical science, clinical doctorates in audiology and occupational therapy, and PhD programs in clinical psychology and education & leadership.

She also serves as vice provost for research and has helped grow Pacific’s dedicated research capacity, earning it the rank of No. 1 private research university in the Northwest for the past two consecutive years.

In July 2019, Barr-Gillespie announced her plans to step down from the role of dean and take on the vice provost for research role. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she agreed to delay those plans and also this summer took on the leadership of the university’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

This coming summer, as she takes on the role of provost, she will retain oversight of the university’s research efforts, while also overseeing academic programs, athletics, and libraries. 

With this transition, Mary Von will be named interim vice provost and executive dean of the College of Health Professions, while Saje Risen-Davis steps up as interim director of the School of Physician Assistant Studies, as previously planned.

Phillips joined Pacific as a professor of sociology in 1995. She served as Arts & Sciences associate dean, School of Social Sciences director, and associate dean of the College of Business before being appointed interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2017 — a role made permanent in 2018. Under her leadership, the college has revised its core curriculum, added a bachelor of music education degree and a new major in data science, and facilitated the transition to remote/in-person hybrid teaching through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phillips will continue as College of Arts & Sciences dean while taking the helm of enrollment management as vice president, where she will oversee undergraduate and graduate admissions departments. 

Staihar has been a part of the Pacific University team since 2008 and has served as senior executive assistant to the provost and vice president of academic affairs since 2015. In her new role as chief of staff, she will support the President’s Office and the Board of Trustees. 

“Please join me in congratulating all of these outstanding leaders as they embark on their new roles in support of Pacific University and our students,” Hallick said. “I look forward to working together as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a strong position to return to the work of articulating and implementing Vision 2030.”

Friday, Jan. 8, 2021