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New Employees and Notable Changes- April 21

Apr 21, 2014

Bill Coen, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations, will retire in January 2015

Bill Coen, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations, has announced he will retire from the University at Bill Coen the end of January 2015. Since Coen began at Pacific in 2000, he has been a key leader in the development and ongoing success of the Pacific Alumni Association.

Among Coen's accomplishments, he led the reorganization of the Pacific Alumni Association, which created a greater awareness among constituent groups through the use of technology and saw increased involvement with volunteers and greater attendance at alumni events, such as the Alumni Association Awards Dinner and Ceremony.

In October, he was instrumental in the successful return of Homecoming, an all-campus event that brought together student, parents, families and alumni for the first time in 18 years. Coen also championed the recent addition of the Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House, completed in 2011, which was built and furnished almost entirely through alumni support.

During Coen's tenure, regional clubs and affinity groups such as the Black, Pride and Latino alumni clubs, also emerged, and affinity reunions are now held every year. The Pacific Alumni Weekend, which includes the popular Taste of Pacific, has grown from 200 guests at its inception to 1,200.

Coen also helped create and sustain strategic partnerships with various University departments, such as with the Office of Admission and its Pacific Alumni Admission Representatives (PAAR) program; with athletics through the sponsorship of local and regional events; the recruiting of alumni experts as classroom speakers for Pacific Seminars and other presentations; and with the Career Resource Center's alumni-mentor program.

"When I joined Pacific in 2012, I was extremely impressed by the Alumni Relations program," said Burnie Atterbury, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. "I am grateful to Bill for his leadership in working with the Alumni Association Board to create such a strong program. I am also thankful to Bill in his working with the fine team of alumni professionals we now have. His legacy will continue through the able talents of Executive Director of Alumni Relations Kelli Page."

Coen and his wife, Jan, plan to return home to Utah to be closer to family members.

"I have been most fortunate in my career to work with so many talented alumni of this institution and to have such wonderful colleagues in the Pacific faculty and staff. I want to thank the University faculty and Student Life staff and so many others for creating such a passionate and successful pool of alumni who love their University," said Coen. "It has been a tremendous opportunity to make friends with our alumni and work with so many great people who love their faculty, classmates and the campus. I was encouraged to 'dream big' and on occasion, together with the alumni, we enjoy those dreams as realities."

Mark PlovnickMark Plovnick, director of economic development and dean emeritus of Eberhardt School of Business, to retire

Mark Plovnick, director of economic development since 2006, will be retiring from Pacific at the end of the academic year after serving the University for 25 years, including 17 years as dean of the Eberhardt School of Business. Plovnick is also a director with the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce and the president of the San Joaquin Angels, and will continue serving in these positions. He recently received the honor of dean emeritus status from the University.

Both as dean and director of Economic Development, Plovnick has been responsible for significant growth in size and scope of the units he managed and the development of many new programs for the University, including the MBA program, the Business Forecasting Center and the Institute for Family Business in the business school, and the San Joaquin Angels and the San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge while serving as Director of Economic Development.

Plovnick's interest in programs serving the community has been evident in the number of community boards, committees and commissions on which he has served, including the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, the Northern California World Trade Center, Goodwill Industries, the Children's Home of Stockton Foundation, United Way, the Stockton Symphony, the Stockton Rotary Foundation, the San Joaquin County Airport Advisory Committee, the San Joaquin County Civil Service Commission and Comstock's business magazine among many others. Plovnick also served on the Board of the Western Association of Collegiate Schools of Business for a number of years and is a past President of the organization.

"Mark has been a significant asset for University of the Pacific both as dean of the Eberhardt School of Business and as director of Economic Development," said Vice President for External Relations and Athletics Ted Leland. "He led the Eberhardt School through some great transitions, did a great job with fundraising and has also been one of the most visible members of the Pacific family in the business community." 

Plovnick has been active in assisting organizations around the world in business, government, health care, education, and other fields.  His consulting clients have included Proctor and Gamble, the United States Navy, Dow Chemical, Aetna Life and Casualty, Shell Oil, General Electric, Ford, Goodyear, and many others.  He has authored or co-authored five books and numerous articles in the areas of team building, career development, organization development, health care management, labor relations and professional education.

Before coming to the University of the Pacific, Plovnick spent 12 years on the faculty of the Graduate School of Management at Clark University where he also served as department chairman, MBA program director and associate dean.

Plovnick plans to remain in Stockton and will stay active in the community. "I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the University over the past 25 years and to also have worked with so many other important organizations in the region. I plan to remain involved with many of the organizations with whom I am associated including the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce and the San Joaquin Angels. But I should have a little more time for family and travel, too, after June." 

Paul PatonPaul Paton to become law dean at University of Alberta

Paul D. Paton, professor of law and director of the Ethics Across the Professions Initiative at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, has been appointed dean of the faculty of law at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Paton came to Pacific in 2008 from the Faculty of Law at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, one of Canada's leading medical-doctoral universities.  His new appointment begins July 1.

He has been recognized nationally and in Canada and the United Kingdom for his contributions to debates on the future of the legal profession, including being the 2014 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association's Distinguished Service Award for contributions to the legal profession in that province. Twice named a Fellow of the U.S. National Institute on Teaching Ethics and Professionalism, he was appointed for five years to the Canadian Bar Association's National Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, serving two years as its Chair. He was Reporter to the American Bar Association's Ethics 20/20 Commission (2010-2012) with responsibility for its work on Alternative Business Structures.

Paton has held a number of University administrative posts, including service in 2012-13 as the University's inaugural Vice Provost. As vice provost, he played an instrumental role in advancing academic initiatives in the University's strategic plan, with a focus on accountability, transparency and a commitment to excellence. He oversaw the associate and assistant provosts for academic affairs, research and the Center for Continuing and Professional Education, and supervised the Center for Teaching and Learning, and International Programs and Services. He also chaired the university's Information Strategy and Policy Committee responsible for advising on technology across the campus, directed market research for new graduate programs and collaborated on academic renovation projects and facilities utilization.


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