Letter from the Dean, Diana Hess, for Summer 2018 Learning Connections

Letter from the Dean: Diana Hess

Dear Friends:

Dean Diana HessI am very excited about what has happened in your School of Education this year. Most importantly, we are building on the excellence of our academic programs. Faculty and teaching staff have developed new courses, certificates, and majors that are innovative and meet the needs of students, citizens, and employers. Not surprisingly, students have responded — enrollment is up in every one of our 10 departments.

Our research, design, and outreach programs are growing and changing as well. In particular, the 12 new projects that have started over the past year as part of the Grand Challenges initiative are really exciting. These projects provide clear evidence that our faculty, staff, and students have great ideas for what we can do collectively, across our School’s departments and units, and with many campus and community partners, to develop new approaches to test important questions and design solutions to pressing problems.

The theme of this issue of Learning Connections is leadership. In the articles throughout, you will learn about many leaders who are making a positive difference in tangible and concrete ways. But what is clear to me is that no one issue of Learning Connections could possibly showcase all of the leaders in the School whose work is doing so much and has mattered so much. This is because the theory and reality of distributed leadership is what drives our work. In every department and unit in the School there are leaders. Students are leaders, staff are leaders, and faculty are leaders. I am particularly grateful for the exemplary leadership demonstrated day in and day out by our department chairs and senior staff who understand that the key goal of their work is to support others to do great work — and take risks.

We are now ranked the second-best School of Education in the United States — amongst all public and private schools. This is the highest ranking in our history. To be totally candid, we are tied in this ranking with another fine institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The School of Education has many alumni and friends who have contributed in significant ways to our work. You are reading this because you are one of them — and please know how much we thank you for all you do to help us. We are grateful.

Diana Hess

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