2006.05.08: May 8, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: University Administration: Chico Enterprise-Record: Ethiopia RPCV Jim Moon to retire after long career at Chico State

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia : The Peace Corps in Ethiopia: 2006.05.08: May 8, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: University Administration: Chico Enterprise-Record: Ethiopia RPCV Jim Moon to retire after long career at Chico State

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Ethiopia RPCV Jim Moon to retire after long career at Chico State

Ethiopia RPCV Jim Moon to retire after long career at Chico State

He earned his bachelor's degree in '68 and spent two years in Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer. On his way back to the U.S., he spent several months traveling through the Far East on what he called the trip of a lifetime. When he returned to a terrible economy, a master's degree seemed the smartest option. Moon worked his way through graduate school as the head resident of Shasta Hall and earned his second degree in psychology in 1972.

Ethiopia RPCV Jim Moon to retire after long career at Chico State

Long career at Chico State nearing an end

By MELISSA DAUGHERTY - Staff Writer

When Jim Moon leaves his post as the vice president of student affairs this summer, he will retire as one of Chico State University's top administrators.

It's a pretty astonishing accomplishment considering Moon began his career as a resident adviser and never applied for another position.

"I'm finishing 35 years, and I never expected to stay here," said Moon, during a recent interview.

As Moon explains it, his career moves have come from a series of taps on the shoulders from administrators, asking him to fill a post. And those taps have taken him a long way.

Moon admits he has a long record of service to the university, but he said his story is not unlike many others. He came to Chico as a student, and while there were little detours early on, the city and Chico State became his home.

"It's the same story you hear over and over again," he said. "As soon as I saw the place I liked it."

His tenure began in the early '70s. But he landed in Chico before then. Initially, as an undergraduate, he was drawn to the university for the strength of its psychology department.

He earned his bachelor's degree in '68 and spent two years in Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer. On his way back to the U.S., he spent several months traveling through the Far East on what he called the trip of a lifetime.

When he returned to a terrible economy, a master's degree seemed the smartest option. Moon worked his way through graduate school as the head resident of Shasta Hall and earned his second degree in psychology in 1972.

A year later, he was the assistant director of housing. And for 16 years he held the position of director of housing.

Moon's service in the realm of student affairs began in the late '80s when he served as interim vice president. A few years later he accepted an assignment of associate vice president of student affairs. And in 2003, he took the top spot.

The position came with long hours and many demands. But last year brought challenges that no one could foresee.

In a stretch of just a few months in the spring, a Butte College student pledging a Chico State fraternity nearly died from alcohol poisoning, the university discovered another fraternity participated in the making of a pornographic film and, most shockingly, a Chico State student pledging a rogue fraternity died during a hazing ritual.

Afterward, Moon was charged with the task of completing a full review of the Greek system. And he had little time, just seven weeks, to do what he said usually takes a year.

"It pretty much consumed what I was doing," said Moon, who met every week during that time with the Greek Life Task Force.

But those deliberations appear to have resulted in a new paradigm for the Greek community. With new regulations in place, the students, generally speaking, have been acting in accordance with their organization's core values, like philanthropy and scholarship.

While the university doesn't have all the data, there has been a marked decline in the number of police calls to the organization's houses than in previous years.

"They've really turned a corner," Moon said. "I feel wonderful about the progress."

Nowadays, the soon-to-be retired administrator said he's looking forward to giving up his 60-hour workweek to do some traveling with his wife, Susan. The couple will visit their grandchildren, and Moon will finally have time to tend his bonsai garden.

Still, Moon, who in addition to his service in the Peace Corps spent a year in upper Michigan in the Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) program, is already looking for ways to help the community.

One of his ideas is to help elementary schoolchildren with reading problems.

When asked what he'll miss most about working at Chico State, Moon didn't hesitate when he said it's the people.

And it appears the feeling is mutual.

Chico State President Paul Zingg called Moon an effective leader, a good colleague and a trusted friend, and praised him for his work regarding student conduct issues.

"Jim leads with the force of his personal example, and is widely respected for his kindness, civility, resolve, integrity and fairness," Zingg said.

And as such, Moon will be missed, he said.

Staff writer Melissa Daugherty can be reached at 896-7761 or mdaugherty@chicoer.com.





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Story Source: Chico Enterprise-Record

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; University Administration

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