Sociology professor William Swart will replace Jeffrey Miller as the director of the Civitas program in the fall.
Swart, who considered a leadership position in Civitas alongside Miller in 2007, said the timing is better now to step into the role of director.
“I’m really excited,” Swart said. “I think that Dr. Miller’s leadership has left the program in an incredibly strong position.”
As director, Swart leads the Civitas committee, made up of faculty from each division who oversee course selection and enrollment in the program.
Prior to his appointment as director, Swart taught several sections of the Reading Augustana course and served on Civitas thesis committees.
“Swart is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent leader,” senior Kade Klippenstein said. “I have had him in class and studied abroad with him, and I know he commits himself fully to all of his various endeavors.”
Civitas, from the Latin word meaning “citizenship”, is an honors program, which began in 2007. It has between 130 and 140 students participating at any given time. Miller served as director of the program from 2009 through the end of the 2014 spring semester.
“It was time to step away,” Miller said. “You always want to leave the party before people get bored with you.”
The maximum term for the Civitas director position is six years, and by the end of the semester, Miller will have completed five.
Each year, no more than 40 incoming students are admitted into Civitas. Students can also join the program after their freshman year through the “track two” method.
“We had a larger number of applicants this year than we did last year, which is good,” Miller said.
Looking to the future, Swart said he is excited to be working in an academic program that helps students explore their education in creative ways.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of being part of this program in a more concrete way and working with students and faculty in continuing the legacy of the program forward,” he said.