Dean Thomas E. Hodges has announced Angie Baum, Ph.D. will serve as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Gloria Boutte, Ph.D. will serve as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Ali Brian, Ph.D. will serve as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education beginning July 1, 2023.
“I could not be more excited about the contributions of these three outstanding leaders,” Hodges says. “As I met with different groups of faculty and staff over the past several months, I have shared my perspective of and confidence in our capacity to engage in an internal search process of permanent associate deans. The outcome of the search process is proof that we have outstanding capacity for leadership within our college, both among those who will serve in these roles, as well as many others.”
Baum shares one of her goals is ensuring robust enrollments across the college’s undergraduate and graduate programs. By focusing her office on recruitment and retention activities, refining existing strategies and developing new methods that boost yield, Baum seeks to enhance the ways the college connects and engages with its students.
“I love that the work of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has the potential to make a meaningful impact on our students, our community and on the faculty and staff within the college,” Baum says. “I believe that our curriculum and programs are one of the primary ways in which we enact the College’s mission and vision. Through our partnerships, we stay connected to our community-stakeholders which leads to programs designed to serve our state well. I also love helping faculty and staff engage in problem-solving and brainstorming of new ideas.”
Baum is excited to grow our collegiate partnerships and community-based engagements. She sees great potential for innovations in the field that will make a positive difference for children and families in our state.
“My preparation for this role comes from a variety of past leadership experiences, as well as collaborations over the years,” Baum says. “I learn something in nearly every interaction I have with someone. These learning moments help me hone my skills and philosophies surrounding leadership.”
Boutte’s leadership in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is guided by the South African principle of Ubuntu (I am because we are). Her primary goal is to advance and sustain inclusive excellence within the college to collectively address systemic inequities. Faculty fellows for various cultural affinity groups will be selected to lead Communities of Practice to plan activities such as workshops, book studies, dialogues and film viewings throughout the academic year. ODEI will distribute a survey in April to gain insight into faculty and staff’s interests and needs regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.
“This work aligns with my three and a half decades of research and teaching foci on equity,” Boutte says. “I am excited about the opportunity to influence policy and practice around these issues within and beyond our college.”
Boutte has built a strong knowledge base through teaching, scholarship and leadership in the work of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has a purposeful focus on equity pedagogies methodologies. She brings a strong state, national and international track record in DEI.
“I think we are in a great place as a university and college regarding diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” Boutte says. “There are many opportunities for advancing this work and I am excited about the possibilities aligned with the college’s mission to recruit and retain faculty, staff and students from minoritized groups.”
Brian’s goals for the Office of Research, Grants and Contracts include supporting faculty and staff who desire scholastic achievement beyond their levels of expectation. She wants to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and safe and supporting to colleagues as they seek support, pitch ideas, craft manuscripts and grants, foster interdisciplinary interactions and make connections.
“I am excited about helping others achieve their goals and to take our college to new research heights,” Brian says. “I am a team-oriented individual who is motivated by the success of others and the group.”
Brian is thrilled to work with the college’s exceptional faculty, staff and centers and assist them with goal attainment. She credits her various experiences, including being department chair, in preparing her for this role.
“I am honored, excited and humbled to accept this role,” Brian says. “I am very much looking forward to working with our stellar faculty and staff in the College of Education.”