Message from the Interim Dean

June 18, 2020
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Dean Terrill SaxonWhen I was asked to serve as interim dean in June of 2017, I did not think I would occupy the role for more than a year or possibly two. When our new dean (Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke) begins on July 1, 2020, I will have completed my third year. Long before we had to address the effects of COVID-19, I learned that leading a School required one to be an adept problem-solver, quick to adapt and surround oneself with motivated colleagues.

Because the faculty in School of Education are deeply devoted to student learning and mentoring, conducting meaningful research and service, the School has thrived during these last three years.

Below is a list of some achievements of the School that come to mind when I reflect on these years.

  • hired more than 20 new faculty and many new staff
  • started a large and successful online Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • created other new programs including a decade-long-discussed Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • streamlined our teacher education certificate programs to increase flexibility and efficiency
  • improved our Professional Development School partnerships in local school districts
  • added to and improved our study-abroad programs
  • appointed excellent department chairs
  • developed new programs and missions in our three Centers
  • held a year-long Centennial Celebration
  • and drastically increased our fund raising and relationships with donors and alumni.

Just a few of any combination of these would be cause for celebration. But we did all this and more in the last three years. It is because the School of Education at Baylor is made up of faculty and staff who focus the highest priority on student learning and mentoring whether that be in the college classroom, online, in the clinic, in the public school classroom, in the lab and in all the places where we conduct our work.

Where there is a shared goal, there are shared accomplishments. I am proud to have been part of this work during the last three years. Some have asked about my plans in the near future. Priority will be to help Dean Hagan-Burke with the transition over the summer. After that I plan to teach in the fall and go back to my role as Associate Dean. I look forward to the next era in the School of Education!

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