Pacific University’s School of Social Sciences will lose its associate dean and director of eleven years at the end of this spring semester. Dr. Jessica Ritter is going to Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado to work in the social work program.
“It was a really agonizing decision actually!” Ritter said. “I have been at Pacific for 11 years and it has been a very special and gratifying experience for me for all those years. Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love my job and that I have considered it to be my dream job.”
Professor Jaye Cee Whitehead will be taking over the position in the fall and whom Ritter, “fully support[s],” and, “think[s] she will do a tremendous job!” In anticipation of the transition, the university is currently searching for an available professor to teach in Whitehead’s stead.
“I am excited to work with the faculty in the School of Social Sciences,” Whitehead said. “They have been incredible colleagues in my 10 plus years at Pacific and I am honored to be their director.”
Ritter had a couple reasons for her departure.
“First, I wanted to be closer to my family who live in Texas; living in Denver will make it much easier for us to visit each other more frequently,” Ritter said. “Secondly, I was just ready for a change in my life and a new adventure.”
Of course, there are many aspects of Pacific that Ritter will miss and memories she will cherish.
“I will miss the students at Pacific,” Ritter said. “They have been the highlight of my experience here. My students have been teachers to me and have inspired me so much because they want to do such wonderful things in the world, to improve conditions for people and communities.”
She also had high praise for her coworkers and is greatful for the opportunities Pacific provided.
“I will also dearly miss many of the people I have worked with at Pacific, both staff and faculty,” Ritter said. “That has been a main reason for my happiness at Pacific because the people who work here truly care about Pacific, get along well and want to have a workplace where people enjoy coming to work. I will be forever grateful to Pacific for the freedom it has given me to grow as a teacher, scholar and professional.”