Central College News

Central College Appoints New Deans

Featured: Central College Appoints New Deans

June 4, 2024

Central College announces the promotion of Leslie Keuning Duinink, 1990 Central graduate, to dean of undergraduate education, and Aaron Roerdink, 1997 Central graduate, to dean of the faculty.  

“As Central continues to evaluate the changing needs and current climate of higher education, and the innovative direction of the Imagine More initiative, I am delighted to promote two colleagues to the role of dean for foundational academic areas,” says Mary E.M. Strey, vice president for academic affairs. “The talent they each bring to their roles will provide significant strategic support for Central’s future.”  

Duinink brings exceptional experience and understanding as the inaugural dean of undergraduate education. She graduated from Central in 1990 cum laude with a history degree and secondary education emphasis. Her educational journey took her to Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, for a master’s degree in physical education. Duinink returned to Central in 1998. She is an associate professor in kinesiology and will continue as senior registrar.  

During her 26 years at Central, Duinink has served as an elected faculty member of the curriculum committee for 10 years and as a class dean for three classes. She is a leader among the faculty for her initiative-taking work related to core curriculum implementation and support of strategic curricular initiatives within programs. She shares her data and information generously to foster collaborative and creative decisions. Her passion for sustaining a robust academic advising system and her leadership in the development and delivery of spring and summer registration and orientation are similarly remarkable, according to Strey. 

Roerdink is a proud 1997 Central alumnus, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and was named the outstanding teaching assistant in chemistry. Before joining Central, he was professor of chemistry at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, where he chaired the department of chemistry and biochemistry. He was recognized as a faculty leader as chairperson of the faculty and of the personal committee and served on the shared governance committee, the curriculum committee, the faculty executive committee and the strategic budget committee, among others.  He also served on the HLC Reaffirmation of Accreditation Steering Committee at Heidelberg. 

Roerdink brought the exceptional experience to Central in 2023 as the inaugural associate dean for learning enrichment. He has developed and implemented a course for faculty to be eligible to teach distance education during the summer and has overseen undergraduate research, workshops and course development. As part of his work related to Imagine More, Roerdink is engaged in a decision science initiative as well as the emerging partnership with programs in the health sciences. His commitment to, support of and passion for faculty development and success are extraordinary and enriched by his experience, according to Strey.