By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Two colleges on campus have a welcome addition back into their staff: the deans.
Dr. Jack Reese, dean of the college of Biblical Studies, and Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the college of Business Administration, have returned from sabbaticals they took last semester.
After spending the fall writing his latest book, Reese is back at work as dean, editing his manuscript and preparing for Lectureship.
Reese requested and was granted an Administrative Development Leave, or a sabbatical, in the fall by Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, and Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, provost.
He began writing his book, A Body Broken: A People of Peace for a Fragmented Church, in September, finishing at the beginning of the year. It will be released during the first week of May in time for Pepperdine University’s Lectureship, where he will speak on the topic of his book. Reese will also speak on the topic of his book at ACU’s Lectureship Feb. 20-23.
Despite his absence from his job as dean, Reese said his time away was no vacation. The term sabbatical assumes rest, but in order for an ACU faculty member to take an administrative leave, they must have a project to work on.
“I probably worked as hard at my sabbatical as I normally do as dean, but it was different work,” Reese said. “I love my work and so I’ve been anxious to get back.”
During the editing process, Reese said he has sent copies of the manuscripts to various administrative and faculty members, as well as members of his church and family, and is receiving positive feedback. He is not required to send the manuscript to members in the administration, such as Dr. Money, but he chooses to, wanting feedback.
“When I speak, I speak for myself,” Reese said, “but I also recognize as dean I have a responsibility to the church, and so I look for feedback.”
He called his first sabbatical productive and said the time away was spiritually renewing for him.
“I was able to think through who I am and what I want to do and who I am in relation to God and my family,” Reese said, adding he could not have managed the time away without the help of his staff.
Dean Lytle moved his wife and three daughters with him to Ann Arbor, Mich., last fall while he took a leadership course at the University of Michigan and worked on a manuscript and research.
Lytle said the company STATPROBE Inc. loaned him office space, and he was able to finish the manuscript titled “Distinctive Leadership: Empowered by the Purpose and Presence of God.”
His research was in the area of service leadership, which was the focus of his dissertation and his area of focus in business. Lytle said he did not get as far in his research as he had hoped, but the completion of the manuscript and university course made the sabbatical productive.
“I feel like I very much met my objectives,” Lytle said.
He is currently in the process of shopping the manuscript with publishers and would eventually like to use it with students and at the leadership summit short course in Colorado.
“The big dream is to service Christian leaders in the marketplace,” Lytle said. “I hope to be able to use it however God will allow me to.”
The time spent in Michigan was a learning experience for his family, especially his three daughters, Lytle said, but they adjusted well. He said it was a different culture for the girls to grow accustomed to, mainly not being around as many people of faith as in the south.
“They had a wonderful time,” Lytle said. “They had struggles, but part of the reason for us taking them with us is I’m a huge believer in getting outside of your comfort zone. It was a great spiritual learning experience for them.”