Dean’s Message: Faculty searches. Strengthening the Ed.D. Big announcement.

Dean’s Column   Dean Catherine Emihovich For most people, springtime in Florida means the azaleas and dogwood are blooming and the weather is perfect – neither too hot nor too […]


February 15, 2007



Dean’s Column


Dean Catherine Emihovich

For most people, springtime in Florida means the azaleas and dogwood are blooming and the weather is perfect – neither too hot nor too cold. For higher education, it usually means seeing a parade of candidates march through the campus as we seek new faculty for the coming academic year. This year, the College is conducting a record number of faculty searches across all five departments. Counselor Education is searching for a new department chair; Educational Administration and Policy is seeking three faculty members; Educational Psychology is looking for two; the School of Teaching and Learning is seeking five; and Special Education is looking for two. In addition, we are still conducting searches to fill two endowed professorships: The Irving and Rose Fien Professorship in Education, and the David Lawrence Jr. Professorship in Early Childhood Studies. If we are successful in filling all these vacancies, and combining them with the number of new faculty that have been hired in the last four years, beginning fall 2007 approximately 50 percent of the faculty will be new to the College of Education since I arrived in 2002. All these new hires, along with the excellent work of our continuing faculty, offer the promise of even greater changes to come as a new generation of scholar-teachers arrives on the scene.

Altering the composition of the faculty is not the only way our College is changing and adapting to the dynamic landscape in higher education. A new initiative is now underway to re-imagine one of our doctoral degrees. We have been selected as one of 20 institutions in the country to participate in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate—a five-year effort sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Council of Academic Deans in Research Education Institutions (CADREI)—to strengthen the education doctorate, with particular emphasis on the Professional Practice Doctorate (Ed.D.). Participating institutions include the following:

University of Connecticut University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Duquesne University Northern Illinois University
University of Florida University of Oklahoma
University of Houston Rutgers University
University of Kansas University of Southern California
University of Kentucky University of Vermont
University of Louisville Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Maryland Virginia Tech
University of Missouri-Columbia Washington State University

The purpose of this project is to take a critical look at the doctorate in education, to examine the distinctions between the Ph.D. and Ed.D., and through a comprehensive analysis of both degrees, strengthen both so they better meet students’ needs and the standards of the educational research community. We are honored to have been selected, and a faculty team (yet to be formed) in partnership with Linda Hagedorn, chair of Educational Administration and Policy, and Jeri Benson, associate dean of academic affairs, will meet this semester to plan their work over the next five years.

If adding new faculty members, and becoming part of the Carnegie Project was not enough excitement, I have will even more incredible news to announce in next month’s column. Watch for the big announcement on our website around March 5, which will describe an initiative that will solidify our reputation in the state for developing innovative school/community/university partnerships, and enhance our national visibility. As I noted in my column last month, it’s great to be recognized as national champions in the sports arena, but we feel it is equally important to be the college and university that champions the cause of improving our future citizens’ lives through access to quality education from early childhood through postsecondary education. Becoming the national champion in this regard is a worthy goal indeed, one we are well on the way to obtaining. Stay tuned.

– Dean Catherine Emihovich.