University honors program still in search of permanent coordinator


The Butler University Honors Program is still without a permanent coordinator.
Students in the program received news less than two weeks into the academic year that former coordinator Amy Elson would be leaving for a new position at Indiana University.
In an Sept. 5 email from Mary Ramsbottom, associate provost, the honors program announced Elson would leave Sept. 16.
There would be information soon about Elson’s replacement, according to the email.
Ramsbottom sent another email four days later with the announcement of an interim coordinator.
Lantzer began the job Sept. 15, according to the email, and will hold the position for the remainder of the school year.
Lantzer has taught honors courses at Butler for the past three years. Last year, Latzer said he also used the adjunct office in the CHASE office, which helped him learn even more about the honors program.
“When Amy (Elson) announced that she was leaving, (Director of Honors) (Judi) Morrel asked if I would be interested in applying for the interim position since I knew the program,” Lantzer said.
His contract to be the interim coordinator lasts until the end of the academic year. There will be a job search in place by the end of the semester to fill the permanent position, Lantzer said.
Lantzer said he will apply for the permanent position at the end of the year.
“There is going to be a learning curve,” Lantzer said. “If I already know the position and my superiors have felt I’ve done my job well, why would I give this opportunity up?”
The changes in leadership or structure of the position of will not impact any of the requirements in the honors program, Lantzer said.
“They aren’t sure whether this position is going to be structured as it is now when they post the job,” Lantzer said. “It might, and it might not be.”
In his new role, Lantzer said he has three main priorities: helping students understand what the honors program entails, increasing communication and retaining students.
“In today’s world, it’s easy to say, ‘It’s on the web, go check on the website,’” Lantzer said. “I don’t want to lose anybody. I definitely don’t want to lose anyone because they don’t know what they’ve gotten into.”
Last week, Lantzer hosted a “What to Expect When You’re Honors” event to explain what the expectations and requirements are in the honors program.
Emily Fuchs, a sophomore member of the honors program, said events like this are worthwhile.
“I like that he hosted a forum about what the program is,” Fuchs said. “I wish I could have gone because I need to learn about the thesis.”
Students are kept informed of events like these through emails sent out by Lantzer.
“Students tell me I send out a lot more emails,” Lantzer said. “Well, I want you to know what’s going on.”
Lantzer said he has enjoyed his first two months on the job working with students individually, rather than in a typical classroom setting.
“To actually get to sit one on one and help students work out what it is they want to do, that’s been rewarding,” Lantzer said. “I love what I’m doing.
Fuchs said the transition has been smooth between coordinators.
“Obviously, it takes some time to make a transition, but he’s handling it very well,” Fuchs said. “I miss Amy, but I think Dr. Lantzer is doing a good job already. I think the program will excel under his leadership.”