To try to fill the void left by Veler’s departure, President Baird Tipson has announced two new appointments. P. Gus Geil will move from the position of vice president for business and finance to the new position of vice president for university relations. At the same time Darrell Kitchen will be promoted from controller to the post of vice president for business and finance.
Prof. Veler recently informed President Tipson of his decision to retire after a 35-year career at Wittenberg. During that time he earned the affection of generations of students as a brilliant and inspiring teacher. But he also perfected the art of balancing careers as teacher, as university editor, and as strategic planner, culminating in his appointment five years ago as general secretary of the university.
“I cannot replace Dick because much of his effectiveness depended upon his long experience as a professor of English, as university editor, and as what always appeared to me as the conscience of Wittenberg,” President Tipson said. In gratitude and recognition of his vast contributions to the university, Tipson announced that the title general secretary will be retired along with Veler, who is a 1958 Wittenberg graduate.
Tipson said that Geil brings to his new position a fortunate mix of skills and experiences to carry forward efforts in planning and developing key constituencies. His extensive service to the Springfield/Clark County community has included president of the Chamber of Commerce and the County Alcohol and Drug Council, as well as leadership positions in service, professional and church organizations.
Geil also brings to his new position significant experience in facilitating strategic thinking about positioning Wittenberg as a stronger institution into the coming decades. For instance, Geil has participated in Wittenberg Commissions on Mission and Priorities, Faculty Status and The Academic Climate.
Geil began his career at Wittenberg in 1969 as director of the Wittenberg Union. Four years later he became director of auxiliary services until 1977 when he was promoted to the position of controller. A little more than a year later Geil was again promoted to director of business affairs, a title he held until 1987 when he was named vice president for business and finance.
Tipson added that Geil’s expertise will be valuable for helping Wittenberg develop comparative statistical benchmarks to enhance the university’s accountability and performance.
Kitchen, who is also a Wittenberg alumnus (1976), began his career as an academic administrator at the then-Clark State Technical College, where he rose to the title of vice president for business affairs/treasurer. Following two years as a vice president and director of human resources at Credit Life Companies, Inc. of Springfield, Kitchen joined Wittenberg as controller in 1988.
Kitchen has also been closely involved in promoting the Springfield/Clark County community. He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Trails Parks and Recreation Board, the Clark County Combined Health District, Elderly United, and the Mental Health Foundation.
“Darrell has served Wittenberg well as controller and is ready for this new responsibility,” Tipson said of Kitchen. Both Kitchen and Geil begin their new positions on Aug. 15.