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Interim Dean of the College of Education gives progress report

July 9th, 2009

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Blake Haselton, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development addresses media.

In his first public address as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development, Blake Haselton met with reporters on July 9 to talk about how the college is faring one year after a former dean became the focus of a federal investigation.

Haselton offered a progress report and answered reporters’ questions, noting that while faculty and staff to continue to heal, the college is growing and progressing.

“Faculty and staff were disappointed and hurt by the incident that occurred and are in various stages of the healing process,” said Haselton, who was was named interim dean last July. “We recognize that and are trying to be supportive and allow time and mechanisms for assistance. I believe we have and continue to make significant progress in moving forward and are seeing evidence of improved faculty and staff morale.”

In the wake of the investigation, Haselton said, there are now more oversight and controls for principal investigators of grants. Also, faculty and staff in the college have received updated compliance training.

“The policies and procedures we had in place were good,” Haselton said. “They just needed to be followed.”

He said communication has increased throughout the college through quarterly faculty meetings, engaged faculty committees and an open-door policy in the dean’s office.

He noted that the university created an ombudsman office in February and appointed Dennis Hall to the position.

Haselton also pointed to a number of ongoing projects and highlights at the college including:

From a numbers standpoint, the college’s performance is strong, he added. Overall enrollment at the college is up by more than 9 percent over the previous year, 14 new faculty members have been added, and degrees conferred are at an all-time high — 779 during the last academic year.

The college’s assistant dean for education and student services, Margaret Pentecost, said degree programs experiencing the biggest jump in enrollment are Workforce Leadership with 131 new students, Exercise Science and Sports Medicine with 94 new students and the bachelor’s degree in teacher education with 77 new students.

“We continually look for ways to improve the overall quality of our programs and make sure that they are a good fit for today's student,” said Pentecost.

Haselton also outlined goals for the next year that he and the faculty and staff hope to achieve. They include strengthening partnerships and outreach; facilitating a redesign of elementary, middle and high schools redesign with JCPS, supporting the Ohio Valley Education Cooperatives initiatives, and advancing to the top 50 in U.S. News and World report rankings.

The college has been reaccredited by the American Psychological Association and expects full accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in August.

“The overall reputation of the schools is very good” among our constituents and accrediting agencies, Haselton said. Progress at the college is a matter of “continuous improvement,” he said.

“We're always going to be working to get better.”

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