Dear colleagues and friends,

These have been extraordinary and stressful times for many of us. With COVID’s impact on so many aspects of our lives, economic hardships, and reckoning with racism in our society, higher education continues to see significant challenges.

This edition of our annual report is devoted to shining the spotlight on the resilience and commitment of the people who are the heartbeat of our college through these dynamic times – our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.

Even before the pandemic hit last spring and social unrest roiled our nation, our faculty have been pioneers in securing research grants that put a focus on tele-health visits and remote delivery of mental health expertise. Our college also has a long and sustained commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, made all the more urgent by the tragic murder of George Floyd as well as the loss of too many other Black lives.

I am especially proud of the College of Education Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC), an organizing structure which aims to more fully engage all members of the college in the work of anti-racism. The collaborative creates opportunities for small group, large group, and college-wide intentional dialogues about how to take action to change racist practices in various aspects of our work in the college.

Our faculty and staff have done a remarkable job managing the many challenges of COVID.  They quickly and successfully moved spring semester courses online and spent the summer months preparing for fall classes.  We offered high quality in-person, hybrid, and totally online courses earlier in the fall and have moved completely online after Thanksgiving through the end of the semester. Without question, these hurdles, on top of social isolation caused by COVID, have created additional challenges.  What I am most proud of is how our faculty and staff have worked together while continually checking in on each other and our students to provide support.  Likewise, donor support has been essential in providing emergency funds for students to keep them progressing in our program while staying safe.

Our Lindquist Center renovation project continues on time and on budget.  Several new classrooms in South Lindquist are now complete and will be ready for use this spring semester.  The second phase began right after Thanksgiving, a month early.  This phase will result in a “heart” of the college where we will have a lobby, café, and a suite of student services and dean’s office staff to provide better student-focused services.  We plan on having a dedication of the new space once renovation is complete so stay tuned.

While these times are certainly challenging, there is no where I’d rather be than working with our wonderful community of dedicated faculty, staff, students, and alumni and community partners.  It is such an honor and privilege to serve as dean. Thank you all for your continued support of the college. 

Dan

 

Daniel Clay
Daniel L. Clay, PhD, MBA (he/him/his)

Dean and Professor

College of Education