Welcome from Dean Terry Mason
The Path Forward...
This past August I was officially appointed dean of the School of Education. I was fortunate to have a year as interim dean to “try the job on” to see how it fit. I am pleased to report that my time in the dean’s office has been gratifying and rewarding and I am honored to have been asked to continue. I hope to draw upon the wealth of experience I have gained as we proceed toward the future.
As we begin a new academic year, the School is a lively place where our faculty, staff and students are focusing their attention on the many facets of education. For example, students in our Global Gateway for Teachers program are preparing for the life-changing cultural experience they will encounter as they student teach in communities around the world. The Make, Innovate, Learn Lab (MILL) on the second floor of our building is abuzz with creative and inventive uses of technology providing a novel twist to the field of STEM education. We are also pleased once again to have a cohort of twenty-one International Fulbright Distinguished Teachers with us to enrich the School by learning together and sharing their diverse backgrounds with us.
One feature of a strong school of education is its ability to attract and retain high quality faculty and staff. This fall we’ve welcomed eleven new faculty members into the School who will advance our research and teaching mission and provide valuable service to the educational community. In August, our new Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Mary Dwyer, joined us. She and her team are making steady progress on several key initiatives, perhaps most importantly that of achieving our Bicentennial Capital Campaign goal of $40 million by 2020.
To meet the needs of our state and nation, we must continue to attract a bright, passionate, and diverse group of young people to the teaching profession. In several important ways we are making strides toward this goal. For example, the number of education undergraduates participating in IU’s Direct Admit Scholars program has increased steadily over the last several years with 118 as members of the 2016 freshman class. Our recently formed School of Education Advancement Team is developing specific strategies to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups, thus improving the diversity of our student population. The yearly growth of our INSPIRE Living-Learning Center where students live together on campus just a few yards away from the education building also reflects the School’s commitment to excellence in teacher education. Whenever I have the chance to talk with our students I see how our efforts are yielding positive results and I’m amazed by their excitement, their energy, and their commitment to improving the educational futures of today’s children. Truly, our current students and our graduates are making a difference in the lives of people around the world every day.
The IU School of Education is unique as one of a very small number of public universities that prepare a large number of teachers, counselors, and educational leaders while also maintaining a robust and comprehensive research program. Through the efforts of our world-class faculty and our research centers, we continue to generate scholarship that shapes policy and practice in the field of education. Our ongoing success at attracting external research funding (~$8 million in 2015) also attests to our strength as a leading research institution.
We have much to be proud of as a School and many new challenges ahead. I look forward to sharing new initiatives and directions for the School with you in the coming months, so stay tuned and best wishes for a productive and satisfying year.
Terry C. Mason
Dean, IU School of Education