COB’s dean-go-round

Professor Steve Adams, who was tapped early on as the man to fill in as Chico State University’s College of Business searched for yet another new dean, has decided to accept the role of acting dean.

The latest dean, Dalen Chiang, led the department for a year before resigning—or, it seems, being asked to resign. Before that, Heikke Rinne stayed a year and one-half and bailed for private industry. Arno Rethans, who resigned in 1998, rounds out the list of three deans the department has had in four years—the fourth if you count former Interim Dean Marc Siegall.

Adams, an accounting specialist who had been serving as associate dean, will fill the dean’s chair for three semesters. That way, the university can time its search for a new dean to start in the fall, when the pool of candidates is the best. Adams has been teaching at Chico State for 21 years, so I doubt he’ll be a short-timer. He did say, however, that he doesn’t want to be the permanent dean, believing he’s better suited to teaching and internal, budget-type matters rather than external relations and fund-raising.

As far as what his job will be, Adams said, “The most important thing will be to prepare the college for a new dean and help in the search.” The college also must prepare for its next accreditation study in 2007-08. New standards include developing a system to assess how well students are learning what they’re supposed to be taught.

Roger and out

Roger Williams, who just announced his retirement, has been the principal at Chico High for 22 years—a school record. He was assistant principal for five years before that. “I was an assistant principal in the morning at Chico Junior and in the afternoon at Chico High,” he said, remembering the budget crisis of the mid-1970s and how he “came in young and naïve.”

He said it’s never been boring, which is likely why he’s stayed at one school so long. As the student population has nearly doubled in size, Chico High has gone “from everybody doing basically the same thing to smaller learning communities based on different themes.” The school was one of the first to take advantage of state incentives to implement new technology.

“There are more similarities than differences,” he said, looking back. Chico High students have always been “a caring, accepting group.” And “the students are still very interested in improving themselves.”

Williams predicts that, decades from now, at least part of the school will be sold to Chico State and growth will dictate the placement of four high schools around the perimeter of town.

Williams will be 58 when he officially retires in June. His wife, Nancy Williams, who teaches at Chico State, is retiring as well, and the couple plans to live in Chico but spend time visiting their daughters in New York City and Taos, N.M.—especially since the Williams’ first grandchild is expected to arrive shortly.

Donations accepted

People in the Chico Unified School District are rallying to gather donations for the Whaley family, who on Nov. 25 lost their Paradise home to fire. Steve Whaley was severely burned in the blaze that followed a gas explosion and is recovering at UC Davis Medical Center. His wife, Joan Whaley, is a food service manager at Little Chico Creek Elementary School.

Joel Adema, food services supervisor for the CUSD, said the Whaleys are in need of items to set up a new household, from kitchen gear to clothing to furniture. “Their home was basically destroyed,” Adema said. “They have to rebuild from scratch.”

An account has been set up at Tri Counties Bank, #002039977. Those wishing to give non-monetary donations may call Little Chico Creek at 891-3285 or Adema’s office at 891-3021.