Dean returns from duty


Shayla Waugh And Margaret Bendorf

As dean of SDSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Jerry Jorgensen’s job encompasses personnel management, curriculum planning and budgeting for the college. He is also the supervisor of 15 departments across campus. However, last summer, Jorgensen answered the call to his other position: a colonel in the United States Army Reserves. “I received my orders in late June 2004, and reported for active duty on July 22,” said Jorgensen.Jorgensen worked at the Pentagon as the deputy director for Army Reserves communications. It was his responsibility to support all official communications regarding the Army Reserves information. Jorgensen said his duties in the position included preparing speeches, congressional testimony, by-lines for articles in magazines and newspapers, press roundtables, media campaigns and television, radio and print advertising.”I had the opportunity to work at the national level regarding strategic communications, media relations, public affairs, legislative and congressional issues and national recruitment advertising. It was a great experience,” he said.He said media experience coupled with his personnel and budgeting duties as dean helped prepare him for the job. “I was able to step into my new role out there fairly quickly,” Jorgensen said.He dealt with a wide variety of tasks from television, radio, and print advertising to legislative and congressional issues.”With the war ongoing during an election year, it was an exciting time to be at the Pentagon and in Washington, D.C., ” said Jorgensen.In Jorgensen’s absence, Kathleen Donovan, English department head, filled in as temporary dean of Arts and Science. As acting dean, Donovan performed most of Jorgensen’s duties, with the exception of evaluation of department heads and overseeing construction projects. She said the experience gave her renewed appreciation for Dean Jorgensen’s energy and expertise. “Arts and Science is the largest college on campus, and the dean has a great many responsibilities. I enjoyed the experience because being dean allows you to accomplish so many things to benefit faculty and students,” said Donovan.She said all the faculty, staff and students pitched in last year to get the business of the college completed in Jorgensen’s absence. “The only sad part of it (filling in as dean) was that I had to leave my position as head of the English department for the year,” she said.Bruce Brandt filled in for Donovan as head of the English department.”He (Brandt) and our wonderful secretary, Janice Hanson, kept the department running very smoothly in my absence, and I am very grateful to them. Provost Peterson and the other college deans were also enormously supportive,” said Donovan.Jorgensen said he was glad to have Donovan filling in during his absence “I just want to say that the college was in very good hands while I was gone. Dr. Donovan kept the college moving forward in my absence,” he said. “I really appreciated not worrying about what was happening back here at SDSU while I was on active duty.” “I also want to thank Provost Carol Peterson and President Miller for their support while I was gone. I am proud to be associated with an organization like this,” he said.Next month, the Department of Defense will recongnize SDSU for its support of student, faculty and staff who serve in the military.”The year went by very quickly. The pace out there was breath-taking at times,” Jorgensen said. “I was happy when the year was over and I could come home, but glad I went through the experience. It gave me some new perspectives on the world.””I learned a lot when I was there, both about the Army Reserve and about myself. Overall, the experience was a very good one. I made some friends that will last a lifetime,” he said. “I must say that the true highlight of the year was the privilege and opportunity to work with young soldiers, some of the finest young men and women I will ever meet in my lifetime. Their dedication and commitment is humbling. ” Jorgensen has served in both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve for 27 years. In three years, he will reach the mandatory retirement date.