One of the more refreshing aspects of the academic world is its cycle of new beginnings. For teachers and students, each semester or year brings an opportunity to start afresh. For students, each new semester/year brings an opportunity to set aside old habits or attitudes, to recommit to worthy academic goals, and to redirect or devote new energies toward those goals. For teachers (including university faculty), it is likewise an opportunity to try new approaches, to revise curricula, and to apply what was learned from prior teaching experiences. As a long-time educator, I have seen dramatic changes in students and teachers who took advantage of the opportunities that new beginnings have brought.
For those having the privilege of serving in educational leadership roles, the same cycle is evident, albeit less related to time (semester or year) than to position or educational institution. While broad stability of leadership is important, oftentimes a new school principal brings new energy, perspective, and experiences to a school, energizing students, faculty, and the community.
Those following development at BaylorUniversity may be aware that I have recently joined the Baylor family as dean in the School of Education. Previously serving as education dean at three other mid-sized universities and being both a person of faith and nationally active in my field, I bring a variety of leadership experiences and learning to Baylor. I am excited about the challenges and opportunities at Baylor. This is an especially important and critical time in the life and history of the university and its School of Education, and I will be working with faculty, students, alumni, community, and university leadership to help Baylor and its School continue on the path of excellence, national prominence, and Christian faithfulness by:
Preparing those called to public service as educators or health and human performance professionals
Addressing the challenges and bases for professional practice
Providing leadership and influencing professional practice and policies
While there is much to cherish and value at Baylor and the School of Education, this is also a time to capitalize on opportunities that new beginnings bring. I invite you to join in the excitement and commitment to these goals of excellence, prominence, and faithfulness. Please join in any of our School events this coming year and feel free to drop me a note at Baylorimpact@baylor.edu. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and perspectives with you in the years to come.
Jon M. Engelhardt
Dean, School of Education