In 2008-2009, a new VP arrived and she took as her task a “listening” tour of faculty and their assessment of where the College was and where it needed to be. From this “listening” tour, Dr. Deitemeyer heard one clear and consistent message from the faculty across the entire College: “There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”
With this feedback in hand, Dr. Deitemeyer challenged the leadership team to “pause and process” this information and to come forward with a model that addressed the faculty’s concerns.
The Five Schools of Learning model emerged in Fall 2009 and had the following changes:
- The model reduced leadership roles by 8 positions
- The model exploited “centers of excellence” that external consultants in the late-1980s argued as the strength of the College
- The model built upon “traditional” academic roles of “dean,” “associate dean,” and “assistant dean”
We embarked on the implementation of the model in January 2010 and by Fall 2010–the model was already evolving in different directions–partly due to Dr. Deitemeyer’s leaving the College, partly due to shifting roles and responsibilities, partly due to some faculty confusion over the titles, and partly due to emerging budget issues.
The heart of the Five Schools Model, however, is still intact: “assuring appropriate placement of students in courses for students’ success, developing authentic assessments of learning outcomes, implementing strategies for improved retention of students, and measuring these endeavors for continuous improvement of the School’s programs and services.” (Branson, “School of Arts,Sciences, and Education: Vision 2009.”)