Les Steele

When a Seattle Pacific University search committee set out to find the ideal vice president for academic affairs, they found him close by.

Les Steele, a member of the SPU faculty for 16 years and former dean of the School of Theology, is passionate about the vision of the University and articulate about how best to realize that vision. "Les is an effective advocate for the faculty," said President Philip Eaton in an announcement to the campus community. "He is theologically sophisticated ... and has a warm and ever-growing heart for Jesus Christ. He is a champion for our Wes-leyan heritage and fully committed to the vision of the Christian university."

In his new role, which began July 1, Steele oversees all of the University's academic programs, including undergraduate, graduate and continuing education; student life; and the development of new academic programs that are "vision-centered" and "market-smart." He serves on the President's Cabinet, leads the Deans' Cabinet and works closely with Faculty Council.

"The faculty is quite excited by Les' appointment," says Bill Purcell, this year's faculty chair. "He is a faculty member at heart and will do a lot to bridge any gaps between faculty and administration." Steele says his objectives are clear: align all program goals with the University vision of "engaging the culture, changing the world"; support faculty development in teaching, advising and scholarship; seek resources with which to implement the University's vision; and strive for ethnic diversity on campus.

A man Eaton calls "a long and faithful contributor to the life and health of SPU," Steele will bring his Christian faith to bear on the heavy demands of the office. "My faith permeates all my work," says the chief academic officer. "This is my vocation, my call before God, and therefore I seek to do it to God's glory. I need God's wisdom, strength and encouragement to do the best I can to encourage and support our faculty."


Jeff Van Duzer carries on the tradition of leadership begun by the first SBE Dean Joe Hope (right).

A tradition of outstanding leadership in the Seattle Pacific University School of Business and Economics continued as Jeff Van Duzer, J.D., was named the School's fourth dean in August 2001. A highly regarded Seattle attorney specializing in finance and natural resources, and former partner-in-charge at Davis Wright Tremaine, Van Duzer earned his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He took the helm of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) from former Dean Alec Hill, who left to become president and CEO of InterVarsity USA.

Already familiar with the Seattle Pacific community and vision, Van Duzer served as chair of the SBE Executive Advisory Council during the School's successful accreditation bid last year. He has also served as an SPU adjunct faculty member, receiving the "Adjunct of the Year" distinction for 1999-2000. His community involvements include executive level leadership for the Salvation Army and the United Way, and ministry as a teacher and preacher at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Seattle.

Van Duzer says his focus will be on strengthening the foundation that has made SBE such a respected entity in business education. "I'd like to see us deepen the faith integration aspects of our curriculum, and strengthen our applied learning emphasis by rethinking how we blend classroom and work experience," he says.

"What excites me most about the School is its distinctives. We challenge our students to not just skim the surface, but to ask the deeper questions." These questions, explains Van Duzer, include "What is the purpose of business?" "Why does a Christian go into the field of business?" and "What is the Christian understanding of business and commerce?"

"My goal for the School of Business and Economics is that when our students leave SPU, they are asking these questions," says Van Duzer. "Measuring business success is not just maximizing shareholder value."

Van Duzer says he also hopes to find ways to increase the sense of community among undergraduate and graduate students so that their Seattle Pacific experience continues to have meaning long after graduation.


The 2001 Seattle Pacific University Phonathon — whose baseball-related theme was "What's the Score?" — raised $426,070 in pledges, a remarkable 17 percent increase over last year. Surpassing its goal for the year by 7 percent, Phonathon lasted for eight evenings between October 8-18.

Faculty, students, staff and alumni, as well as friends of the University, came to the newly renovated Walls Advancement Center to staff the phones, track pledges and stuff envelopes. Harland Beery '54, former sports reporter at the Bremerton Sun and chaplain to the Seattle Mariners, lent support to Phonathon as its chair.

Money raised at Phonathon goes to the University Fund, which generates student scholarships. The University Fund goal for this fiscal year, ending June 30, is $1,550,000. According to Associate Director of Development Dean Carrell, who headed up Phonathon, "These results give us a great jumpstart toward the goal.

"It's amazing how people connected with SPU were willing to give," continues Carrell. "Because of the terrorist events, some nonprofit agencies are experiencing drops in giving. But our constituency understands this isn't just a short-term effort. We're graduating people of character, and that's a long-term investment."

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Copyright © 2001 University Communications, Seattle Pacific University.

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