Pam Regis assumes role as acting dean, Robert Kachur steps up as English department chair

Pam Regis, center, is surrounded by English department faculty. (Photo courtesy of McDaniel website)Pam Regis, center, is surrounded by English department faculty. (Photo courtesy of McDaniel website)

After serving as the English department chair for three years, Pamela Regis, Ph.D., has decided to step up and serve as the new dean of graduate and professional studies.

“I enjoyed [my time as the English department chair],” Regis said. “The English department is an interesting and happy place.”

Her favorite part of being chair was helping others, which she will be able to carry forward into her new role.

“My time as acting dean of graduate and professional studies will include overseeing the programs that GPS offers, and collaborating with GPS colleagues to deliver those programs,” she said. She mentioned that a “new challenge” sparked the decision to change and she is “looking forward to learning about GPS and lending a hand.”

Although she is still a tenured member of the faculty, and a member of the English department, Regis is not currently teaching. Before she officially became acting dean, her position as chair was mostly administrative. However, the professors in the English department are working hard to fill the gaps and allow the classes that she once taught to continue being offered.

The American literature classes that Regis taught will be covered by professors Mary Bendel-Simso, Ph.D., and Suzanne Nida, and her class on Jane Austen’s novels will most likely be taught by Robert Kachur, Ph.D., when it is next offered. Her new business writing class will be taught by Daniel Schafer.

Not only is Kachur taking over Regis’s Jane Austen class, but he is also replacing her as chair of the English department. A professor at McDaniel for 21 years, Kachur can’t imagine being anywhere else.

“The English Department faculty and staff are family,” he said. “And the bright, creative and big-hearted students I’ve taught over the years have brought me much joy and made me want to be a better person.”

Since Kachur once served as chair of the English department for a five-and-a-half-year stint, he expressed willingness and interest in filling the role again. During his stretch of time as chair, he got the opportunity to personally oversee the hiring of many wonderful professors and work closely with Kathy Edmondson, the department’s academic secretary.

“She is not only extremely competent and hardworking, but makes me laugh until my stomach hurts,” Kachur said. “In addition, she also thinks I am hilariously funny, which shows her good taste and keen judgment.”

Although he wouldn’t consider his new administrative duties “exciting,” he is enthusiastic about his new ability to care for the well-being of his fellow members in the English department.

“If an English colleague needs a resource, has a concern, or wants to grow professionally in a particular way, I as chair can support them not only as a friend, but as a department chair who has some resources at his disposal,” he said.

Kachur gives Regis his well wishes, declaring that “any department is lucky to get her, and I am sure her new colleagues will appreciate that.”

Regis assumed her new position on June 1, 2019.