Fred Kniss is an EMU alum (BA ‘79) and has served as provost of EMU since July 1, 2009. Prior to that, he was Professor and Chair of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago, where he also founded and directed the McNamara Center for the Social Study of Religion and served for one year as Interim Dean of the Graduate School. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1992. His research has examined new immigrant religion, religious change and conflict, faith-based international relief and development organizations, and the so-called “culture wars.” He is co-author of Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants. He has also published a variety of articles and chapters on religious and cultural change, and is the author of Disquiet in the Land, a study of cultural conflict among U.S. Mennonites in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has served as president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and as chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociology of Religion. He has held editorial positions for the American Journal of Sociology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Sociology of Religion. He is married to Rosalyn Myers Kniss, Division Administrator of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He and Rosalyn are parents of two sons, both of whom attended EMU.
Jack Rutt graduated from EMU in 1972 with a degree in psychology and first worked for a small automobile insurance company for five years. In 1977 he joined several partners in the purchase of an office products store which launched his career in technology as a reseller of personal computers in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s he worked in the information systems departments of several health insurance companies and in 1999 accepted an invitation to return to EMU as Director of Information systems.
On May 1, 2014, after nearly two years of planning initiated by Jack, the position of Director of Information Systems transitioned to Ben Beachy, who first worked as a student technician prior to his graduation in 2012, and was promoted to a number of IS department positions over the years. Jack now works within the Office of Provost on special assignments that typically involve project management, data analysis or other technology-related skills. His top priorities for 2014 involve being part of the EMU project management team for the Suter Science Center and Roselawn building renovations along with implementation of TeamworkPM as EMU’s institutional online project management system.
He is married to Gloria whom he met during his college days at EMU. They have two children who are also graduates of EMU and three granddaughters. Jack and Gloria enjoy bicycling and gardening projects. He is a member of Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg where he occasionally plays cello. They also enjoy traveling and regularly visit their son and his wife in Boston or daughter and her family in Germany. He also frequently bakes bread, specializing in French baguettes, boule and German Brotchen.