4 professors named emeriti

Sigmar Schwarz began teaching English in 1970

English professor Sigmar Schwarz was the earliest retiring faculty member to arrive at Cal Lutheran, teaching his first classes in 1970 and joining the faculty two years later.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – April 25, 2017) Four professors with a combined total of 150 years of service to California Lutheran University are retiring in May.

The Board of Regents awarded emeritus status to associate professor of accounting Carol Coman, management professor Charles Maxey, languages and cultures professor Karen Renick and English professor Sigmar Schwarz.

Schwarz was the earliest to arrive at Cal Lutheran, teaching his first classes in 1970 and joining the faculty two years later. The Simi Valley resident has impacted thousands of students of all majors, earning a reputation as an engaging and compassionate teacher. Schwarz, who emigrated from Germany when he was 6, taught classes on world literature and Holocaust writings and films. In his American literature classes, he emphasized the voices of African Americans, Native Americans and Chicanos. He researched indigenous authors in Fiji and taught there during sabbaticals and occasional summers. He received Cal Lutheran’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005 and Honorary Alumnus Award in 2010.

Renick came to Cal Lutheran in 1973 and has taught every French course in the catalog, ranging from introductory language classes to the capstone focused on cinema. The French film festival that she started a decade ago has since morphed into the university’s International Film Festival. The Thousand Oaks resident has supervised students learning to teach French and has led several classes to France to study the country’s culture and civilization. She serves on the executive board of the national French honor society Pi Delta Phi, edits its newsletter and serves as adviser to the Cal Lutheran chapter. 

Coman has taught at Cal Lutheran since 1986. In recent years, she has been part of the national movement addressing academic dishonesty through education, an effort that culminated in Cal Lutheran hosting the International Center for Academic Integrity Southern California Regional Consortium spring conference in April. Coman, who recently moved from Ventura to Georgia, has researched, written and presented on assessment nationally and internationally. She has led multiple initiatives within the School of Management and served on many university committees. She has led and taught more than 20 travel courses throughout Western Europe since 2000.

Maxey joined the faculty in 1991 as the dean of the School of Management and continued in that role for 22 years. The Thousand Oaks resident shepherded the School of Management through tremendous growth as it developed innovative programs and launched community-oriented research institutes including the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting and the Center for Leadership and Values. He stepped down as dean to teach courses on human resources and organizational behavior full time. Maxey, who has served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, is a two-time recipient of the Ventura County Economic Development Association James F. Cowan Award for Excellence in Education.