Augsburg News

News Archives - 2000

Augsburg College Selects Kimball as New Vice President and Dean

Aug. 25, 2000

Christopher W. Kimball, immediate past chair of the History Department and a faculty member at Augsburg College since 1991, has been named Vice President for Academic and Learning Services and Dean of the College following a national search by the institution.

Kimball's appointment was announced by President William Frame, who said the search committee noted "a community-wide regard for the depth and clarity of Kimball's understanding of the advantages of a private, church-related higher education in an urban setting."

A native of the Boston area, Kimball earned his undergraduate degree from McGill University and both his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago where he focused on American history. Prior to joining the faculty at Augsburg, he held positions as Lecturer at the University of Chicago; Instructor at Columbia College in Chicago; and Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

At Augsburg, he has been active on numerous committees, including serving as chair of the Committee on Curriculum Research and Development. From 1994-1999 he served on the Faculty Senate, including three years as Senate President. He also has taken leadership roles in the historical profession, including serving on the Governing Council for the Northern Great Plains History Conference and the Southwest Historical Association.

Kimball was a leader in Augsburg's strategic planning process, which has clarified the mission of the College in the city and the regions. He is author of "Authentically Urban," one of several position papers written for the process. And, he served on the college's Experiential Education Commission and also facilitated the development of plans related to academic majors and interdisciplinary studies.

President Frame said Kimball's passionate and profound understanding of the vision for the College -- articulated in a document called "Augsburg 2004" -- and his experience and interest in curricular master planning for the College won him the job over a very strong field of candidates.

"He displays a profound personal grasp of our vision for the future, not only where we want the college to go but also what will make it work," Frame said. "He particularly has a deep understanding of the mission in relation to the curriculum and what might be needed in curricular reform. Very few institutions are choosing people from inside their ranks to make such major revisions, yet I think we have a better chance for real reform under his leadership."

Kimball also has a strong interest in athletics, particularly baseball. He has served for the past four years as Augsburg's Faculty Athletics Representative with governance responsibility in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. This past year he served as vice president of the MIAC.

This past year, he teamed with Kristin Anderson, chair of the Art Department, on a Minnesota Historical Society-sponsored grant to research the relationship of baseball to urban identity in the Twin Cities. "As an urban historian, I have been impressed with how baseball reflects urban identity," he said. "Baseball, over the century, has helped blur class lines and bring people together. I think it provides a special measure of the American character."

President Frame said Kimball has a very high level of credibility within both the academic and athletic components of the college and looks upon his selection as yet "one more way to sew together these two key components of our institution."