By Rachel Stengel
Next year will be the last at Rider for Dr. Donald Steven, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, as the University announced his retirement plans on Wednesday.
Out of everything, Steven said he will miss the values of the Rider community the most.
“[Rider is] really special,” Steven said. “People treat each other with
personal and professional respect and kindness.”
Steven will officially retire on June 30, 2013, after six years at Rider. The announcement came early in order to facilitate the search for a new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Steven said.
Dr. James Castagnera, associate provost and associate counsel for Academic Affairs, has worked with Steven throughout his stay at Rider. Castagnera said he would miss Steven’s leadership on campus.
“His candor, his creative approaches to the dizzying array of issues with which the Provost Office deals and his integrity are qualities that I value very highly,” Castagnera said. “President Rozanski highlighted Don’s achievements in his announcement. I fully agree. He has been an effective leader of the university’s academic division, which of course is at the core of Rider’s mission.”
Upon reflecting on his time at Rider, Steven said he is pleased with the progress the University has made in strengthening academics. Changes included hiring more full-time faculty and mentoring them, improving advising, retention, graduation rates and the freshman experience.
He said he was also proud of students’ accomplishments on a local and national level.
“I’m just bursting with pride over the many student successes we’ve seen in recent years — the five student Fulbright [scholars] and the many regional and national competitions that Rider students are winning,” Steven said.
Patricia Lutz, executive assistant to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said that she enjoyed her time working with Steven and his departure will be bittersweet.
“Don is a consummate gentleman and professional,” Lutz said. “I deeply appreciate his ongoing support and encouragement. Although I am happy that when he retires Don will have the time to pursue his many interests, he will be missed very much.”