Hi again. This issue marks the return of the Leader Letter. As you probably noticed, it’s been almost two years since the last one, due mostly to a major website restructuring at the college level. I’ll discuss the larger processes that also occurred during this period a bit later, but for now will merely note that many of you made it clear that our periodic updates were sorely missed.
This time around the Leader Letter will be designed primarily for web-based delivery. The new format offers a number of advantages, including less cost and better capacity for mixing newsy updates like this one with a broader array of types of content. We hope, for example, to at least periodically include opinion pieces from various faculty and others as well as more current updates on our research interests and upcoming program. That said, we will make the content available in print format as well, for those who request it.
Let us know what you think of the new format if you get the chance.
Now for some other updates that bear mention. First, and alongside the web reconstruction noted above, you may already know that the College of Applied Professional Studies (CAPS) became the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling (CELC) about 18 months ago. We made this change as part of a comprehensive marketing research effort, which itself was one element in an even larger reassessment of collegewide programs and our collective visibility. During the process we learned that while the old name had a certain acronym-friendliness, it didn’t sufficiently inform the “average bear” interested in learning more about our professional programs and what we do. The new name is designed to do just that. For example, our strong current and historical focus on P-12 education is the referent for the “Education” part of the new name. The “Leadership” part refers to another strong focus – that of the college’s various programs in leadership and organization development. Finally, our programs in professional psychology fall under the heading of “Counseling.” As specific to the Department of Leadership, Policy and Administration, we basically straddle the first two categories. As you probably know, Dave Peterson directs our administrative licensure programs (see his column in this issue) and I handle the rest.
The renaming, web reconstruction and related initiatives were largely due to the vision and efforts of our former dean, Dr. Bruce Kramer, working with the assistance of Dr. Sue Huber (UST executive vice president for academic affairs). I enthusiastically discussed these two and their strong connection to the department – and in particular, our doctoral program – before in these pages. In particular, when Bruce was formally named dean of our college just over three years ago one of his first priorities was to begin a process of rethinking and better shaping its public face.
Unfortunately, just as many of these efforts are beginning to bear fruit Bruce had to step down last fall. The cause was the progression of his ALS (colloquially known as Lou Gehrig disease), which had been diagnosed in the late fall of 2010, only about a year after he was named dean.
We are profoundly grateful to Bruce for hanging in as long as he did. It enabled the college’s reconstitution to continue in full force, and we are much better collectively for it. If you wish, I recommend checking out the blog he started shortly after he was diagnosed [http://diseasediary.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/sandy-hook/], for which he has garnered a lot of well-deserved kudos while significantly raising the public awareness about ALS. He has also appeared on a number of MPR special segments with MPR reporter Cathy Wurzer.
As of now, we are pleased to announce that CELC has a new dean. He is Dr. Mark Salisbury, formerly of the University of New Mexico. During the search, Dr. David Rigoni acted as our interim dean. It is by all accounts a thankless job, but he did it remarkably well. And, as his “reward,” he will be joining the LPA faculty full-time as of fall, 2013. Among other things, Dave is a graduate of our doctoral program and understands it well. For the last two years he also has co-taught one of the core doctoral courses (EDLD 912, from what I hear everyone’s favorite… :)) with me.
While it is a pleasure to welcome David into the department, it is also painful to note that Dr. Thomas Fish has retired as of June 1. Tom became a fixture of the LPA department faculty in the late ’90s, having served as dean of the then School of Education. While his field of research is in Community Education, Tom taught in a number of program areas for us, including Student Affairs, P-12 Licensure, and the EDLD 915 course in the Ed. D. program core. He also has served as chair and committee member on a large number of our dissertations. Less obviously than Tom’s contributions as an instructor, he was a tireless task force, committee and special project worker for LPA, CELC, and UST. We will miss him deeply.
On a final note concerning LPA faculty staffing, we have obtained approval to search for two new faculty members this academic year; one each in public policy and student affairs/higher education. Both positions will also teach within the doctoral program. This is a very positive development for us since we have been seriously understaffed for some time.
I will conclude with a couple of updates concerning our Doctorate in Leadership program. First, January 2013 marked the second year of the return of the Critical Literature Review (CLR), which operated as the gateway to All But Dissertation (ABD) status in the first years of our doctoral program. We decided to revive the CLR to reinforce our continuing commitment to high quality academic writing in the program. The importance of a good leader’s ability to make a cogent written argument has always been part of our Ed. D.’s core assumptions, and we don’t think that has changed even in the midst of the digital age in which we all now operate.
Second, this spring the doctoral program successfully proposed the development of formal subject area concentrations. This means that doctoral students will soon have available to them designated "elective" coursework toward a specialized professional arena that has been developed in conjunction with (usually) another UST school or college. As part of the concentration, which will be documented in a student’s transcript, a designated (external) unit faculty member will also serve as content expert on the dissertation committee.
We are quite excited about the new concentrations because they will serve as a bridge between specific arenas of leadership outside our historical bailiwicks. For example, our first doctoral concentration was developed in conjunction with the UST Graduate Program in Music Education. It will enable musicians to develop a knowledge base in leadership while simultaneously sharpening their expertise in music pedagogy and theory. We expect to develop more such concentrations in the near future.
That’s it for now. Hope to see or hear from you soon.