Message from the Dean - May 2012


Recently, I  read a 2008 graduation address by Barbara Kingsolver to Duke University  entitled How to Be Hopeful.  She started the essay with the quote, "The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for.  The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides."

Some may call it Pollyanna-ish, naïveté, or myopic, I call it hope. This semester has been one in which I had to be extremely hopeful that we as a College would emerge on the other side of these current budget challenges with our integrity and humanity intact.  I am empowered by this hope when I see our colleagues at Price Lab School remaining steadfast and dedicated in the midst of tremendous change.  I am enamored by this hope when I read the copious accomplishments this semester by our faculty as documented in the recent Acclaim.  I am excited by this hope as I think of our premier destination and strategic directions that focus on our abilities to educate, serve, and lead.  And, I am comforted by this hope when I reflect on the tenacity, strength, and determination of our faculty, students, and staff.  I am hopeful that we will indeed create premier professional preparation programs that are resplendent of the best of us.

As we exit the academic year, many changes are taking place in personnel and leadership.

To date, 24 faculty members have been offered transitions into the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experience within the Department of Teaching.  Of these 24, Lyn Countryman has been offered the Coordinator of Student Teaching.  She is replacing Dianna Briggs who opted to return to full-time teaching.  Also, Becky Hawbaker has been appointed the Coordinator of Field Experiences. This is an expanded role from what she has been currently assigned.  As coordinator, Becky will facilitate the site-based supervision of the newly appointed field experience faculty.

We will also have changes in leadership.  With Barry Wilson retiring, Robert Boody has been selected by his colleagues to be the interim head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations.  Nadene Davidson has decided to return to teaching; therefore, Greg Reed has been appointed as interim head of the Department of Teaching.  Mick Mack will pass the reins to Doris Corbett as the new director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services.

The next major change will be to incorporate our newly transitioned faculty into the halls and offices of the Schindler Education Center.  Mary Herring and I have done walk-throughs to determine available spaces and will be making decisions in the near future.

Barbara Kingslover ended here address with the following manifest and I think it epitomizes how we too should be hopeful.

 Hope: An Owner's Manual

 Look, you might as well know, this thing
 is going to take endless repair: rubber bands,
 crazy glue, tapioca, the square of the hypotenuse.
 Ninetieth century novels. Heartstrings, sunrise:
 all of these are useful.  Also, feathers.
 To keep it humming, sometimes you have to stand
 on an incline, where everything looks possible;
 on the line you drew yourself.  Or in
 the grocery line, making faces at a toddler
 secretly, over his mother's shoulder.
 You might have to pop the clutch and run
 past all the evidence. Past everyone who is
 laughing or praying for you.  Definitely you don't
 want to go directly to jail, but still, here you go,
 passing time, passing strange.  Don't pass this up.
 In the worst of times, you have to pass it off.
 Park and fly by the seat of your pants.  With nothing
 in the bank, you'll still want to take the express.
 Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse that are sleeping
 in the shade of your future.  Pay at the window.
 Pass your hope like a bad check.
 You might still have just enough time.  To make a deposit.