I am pleased and excited to welcome Gerald “Jerry” Seaman back to the University of Evansville as the new principal of Harlaxton College. Jerry brings to the position a wealth of professional experience, as well as prior knowledge of UE and Harlaxton. Some of you may remember Jerry, as he was department chair of foreign languages at UE from 1997-2000. During that time, he was also a professor of French, and he taught at Harlaxton during the summers of 1998-2000. Jerry will assume his new role at Harlaxton on August 1.

From 2006 to the present, Jerry has been the vice president and dean of faculty and professor of romance and classical languages at Ripon College, a private liberal arts and sciences college in Ripon, Wisconsin. He has also served on the Board of Trustees at Ripon and is currently on the advisory board of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). Jerry’s experience includes working at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was the associate dean of faculty from 2000-06. He has also published numerous articles, scholarly papers, and presented at numerous conferences.

In his new role as principal, Jerry will be the chief executive and academic officer of Harlaxton College and chief administrative officer of Harlaxton Manor. He will be responsible for developing and articulating the vision and mission of Harlaxton among its constituents, as well as providing leadership and operational direction for all aspects of the College and Manor.

Jerry earned his Ph.D. in medieval French literature in 1992 and his M.A. in French literature in 1990, both from Stanford University. He earned his B.A. in political science, international relations, and French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. In addition to his time at Harlaxton, his international experience includes studying at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, 1990-91 and at Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Aix-en-Provence, 1984-1985. He also participated in the Freeman Study Tour (Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai) in 2005, was an external reviewer for the ACM Costa Rica program in 2010, and has made multiple visits to Chile since 1997.

Jerry describes Harlaxton as “a spectacular place where the education and experience are harmoniously integrated into a transformational experience for students. The setting, the faculty, and the staff together make Harlaxton unique and allow it to offer a best-in-class curriculum, co-curriculum, residential, and travel experience.” He says his goal is “to sustain what is already very strong, build on that, and make Harlaxton the most distinctive program of its kind for the University of Evansville and its partner colleges and universities.” 

Jerry’s wife, Patricia Vilches, who has been an associate professor of Spanish and Italian at Lawrence University since 2000, has also devoted summers to teaching at Harlaxton College. Please join me in welcoming Jerry, Patricia, and their sons Mario and Riccardo back to the UE and Harlaxton family.

Thomas A. Kazee