As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it is a time of reflection for me as I think about the many good people and initiatives in the College of Education. I want to take a few moments here to identify some of the things that I am thankful for as the dean of the college. I wish I had space to identify all individuals, programs, and initiatives. The following will, however, provide a few specifics about our college that make this place special, and for me, proud to serve as dean.
I think the thing I am thankful for, first and foremost, is the people in the college, both faculty and staff. We have people who have just started in the college, and those who have worked here for more than 30 years. Some have worked here and left for a bit and then returned. Regardless of the job classification, the general tenor among employees is upbeat and they approach their work with a can-do attitude. As a consequence, I think we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.
I want to make special mention regarding our staff. These professionals provide the support faculty and administrators need to do their work. Our college could not succeed without these individuals. These unsung employees work hard to meet increasingly higher expectations on a campus that is moving fast. I want to thank each and every staff member on all four campuses, for the work they do to make the college a great place to work, study, and build a career.
The legacy of the college is the educational leadership program. The college trains the majority of the superintendents in Washington. Thus, I am thankful for a top-notch educational leadership program. The academic faculty, and the faculty that have left the K-12 administrative ranks to enter higher education, are the heart and soul of the program. Their tireless efforts in providing the best possible experience for students studying to become administrators keeps WSU and the college in the forefront of K-12 work in the state.
I am also thankful for our development team. In fact, I think it is fair to say that we have a “cracker jack” development team. These folks are continually on the road making contact with potential donors. They are continually working to maintain links to previous donors. And they’re constantly strategizing on ways to position the college to receive the kind of development support we need to be successful now and in the years to come. As a relatively new team with an upwardly revised expectation for growth, they are on target to meet their revenue goal for the first year. Well done and keep up the great work.
I think a program we will begin to hear a good deal about in the coming years is kinesiology. With a key faculty hire this last year, a search for another faculty member under way this year, support from President Floyd, and plans to develop a master’s program, kinesiology is positioning itself to become a solid choice for many students interested in this field. In short, I am thankful for a program that has momentum and is working to reach higher.
I think the above provides a bit of what I am thankful for in the college, why I enjoy working in the college, and why I am positive about the college’s future. In the coming weeks and months I will highlight other programs, people, and initiatives that make this a wonderful college. In the meantime, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and trust that this holiday will be a special one for you and yours.