Interim Provost; Dean of the Warner School of Education, University of Rochester
Years in current role: 1
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am very fortunate to be able to advocate, lead and champion improvements that strengthen the educational mission of the university. I care deeply about our shared learning environment — both within and outside of the classroom. I believe higher education is an essential component of our social contract in society and as such we need to create a space for diversity in thought and nurture inclusion and collaboration. COVID has accentuated our strengths and opportunities for improvement. I love thinking big one moment and operationalizing it the next.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The fear and vulnerability that COVID has created within our community has been the largest challenge to navigate as we make decisions about instructional delivery, support resources and acknowledging burn out and fatigue throughout the campus. Everyone is at a different place in how they manage their own risk. We have had to create mechanisms for connection and support that go well beyond what we have done in the past. To be an educator, I believe you lead with your whole self. How COVID has impacted our families, our school systems, our broader community has been truly felt by those leading the University of Rochester.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the higher education industry in the next 3-5 years?
The number one challenge we will be facing in higher education is the need to increase access for all learners and to create working and learning environments that are inclusive and diverse. Education is a mechanism for us to pursue and advocate for equity. We will continue to face many societal challenges in the future and need an educated and informed community to enable us to face them together. Having a social justice frame, we believe that education can make the world more just and humane.
What college class that you haven’t taken would you be most interested in taking and why?
All of them! I would love to go back to college and do it all over again.