Erica Hoelscher, a professor of theatre who served as a Lehigh ombudsperson, has been appointed associate dean for faculty and staff in the College of Health (COH).
In her new role, Hoelscher will help develop tenure and promotion guidelines for the college in collaboration with faculty and Interim Dean Beth Dolan. She will identify and support professional development opportunities for chairs and faculty, develop appropriate rules and procedures for faculty, and lead faculty searches.
“I’m eager to assist in developing the collaborations and connections that are integral to multidisciplinary pedagogy and research,” said Hoelscher, former chair of the Department of Theatre at Lehigh. “I look forward to being a part of the COH as it grows and blossoms in our greatly anticipated and imminent post-pandemic period of renewal.”
As an ombudsperson and unbiased “third party,” Hoelscher was tasked with helping to resolve problems or complaints within the Lehigh community. The role required her to provide information on university policies and practices, facilitate collaborative dispute resolution, mediate differences, and provide coaching for effective communication.
“I am delighted that Professor Hoelscher agreed to serve as associate dean for faculty and staff,” Dolan said. “As chair of theatre she was highly regarded in CAS [the College of Arts and Sciences] and her experiences as ombuds has given her a deep understanding of the issues faced by faculty and staff. She is a creative problem solver, fair-minded and detail-oriented.
“I'm grateful she is willing to translate her expertise in design into designing policies and procedures for the College of Health, while supporting faculty and staff development.”
Hoelscher joined the Lehigh faculty in 1995. She has designed more than 90 theatrical productions at Lehigh and nationally since then. She also established the costume shop in the Zoellner Arts Center at its opening. Her research has been primarily in costume design, makeup design and costume history, with a secondary specialty in scenic design. Hoelscher is also associate artistic director and board member of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium of Philadelphia.
“I’m honored to serve our COH colleagues by helping to build them a home at Lehigh,” Hoelscher said. “The credentials and accomplishments of the faculty and their mission are inspiring. Their success promises to improve our community and benefit populations beyond Lehigh.”