Central College News

Central College Announces Transitions in Academic Affairs

Featured: Central College Announces Transitions in Academic Affairs

June 7, 2022

Central College’s academic affairs office promotes three academic leaders.

Linda Laine, professor of communication studies and faculty fellow for interdisciplinary and faculty-led programs at Central, has been appointed interim associate academic dean for the college, effective July 1, 2022.

As a past recipient of the David Crichton Memorial Teaching Award and the most recent Kenneth J. Weller Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts, Laine has been recognized for her teaching excellence. She guides students in their own research and helps them apply theory to practice via service learning, internships and other projects. Her commitment and leadership to the college includes her years of service as department chair; her appointment by the Central Board of Trustees as a faculty trustee; her election as faculty representative to the Committee on Funding Priorities; and her election to the faculty policy committee, where she also was elected chair. Laine also previously served as president of the Iowa Communication Association.

Laine earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in human communication from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication at the University of South Florida. Laine has been a Central faculty member since 2004 and was promoted to professor of communication studies in 2018.

Leslie Keuning Duinink ’90, registrar and associate professor of kinesiology, has been promoted to the role of senior registrar. Duinink has served as registrar since July 2018 with a focus on increasing transparency and decreasing redundancy of work for students and faculty. She will assume additional responsibilities in supervision of the class deans and to oversee academic advising. Her work with the faculty and class deans to consider best practices in academic advising will continue Central’s long-standing commitment to student success.

Duinink is a 1990 Central graduate. She received her M.S. in physical education (athletic training) from Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

Duinink has been an instructor at Central since 1998. A tenured member of the faculty, she has taught athletic training, exercise science and liberal arts courses at the college. Her role as class dean (classes of 2013, 2017 and 2021) has provided experience facilitating individual faculty and student connections to address individual concerns and insight into faculty advising and provided her with firsthand experience in the role formative role advising plays at Central. Duinink’s experience also has given her the opportunity to recognize opportunities for curricular innovation, process clarification and student support. In 2020, she was appointed to the Iowa Board of Chiropractic.

Sue Pagnac, director of writing, has been promoted to assistant dean for learning enrichment. In her new role, Pagnac will collaborate with colleagues to consider the future role of libraries in learning and teaching at a liberal arts, residential college.  In addition, she will work with the library staff and continue to direct the writing programs at Central.

Pagnac earned her B.A. from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota. After earning her M.A. in English literature from Oklahoma State University, she completed her Ph.D. in rhetoric and professional communication at Iowa State University. Her dissertation focused on first-generation college students and first-year communication courses.

Pagnac joined Central in 2013 and has served as Central’s writing director, working with students, writing tutors and faculty to increase writing proficiency across the curriculum.

“I’m very excited to welcome these talented colleagues into their new roles. We welcome the fresh ideas and resources that this team will continue to bring to Central. The three extend the work of faculty and staff across campus to enhance student and faculty development in the context of a liberal arts education, to innovate and to support life-long learning,” says Mary E. M. Strey, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.