Message from the Dean

William S. Dunifon

Highlighter & Laureate, Summer 2002 issue

Related article: Letter from John M. Staudenmaier, S.J., College of Liberal Arts

William S. Dunifon, Ph.D., holds his doctorate and M.A. from the University of Michigan. He earned his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and his A.B. in American Studies from Stetson University. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational leadership, planned organizational change, and educational administration. In addition, he has published several articles on effective organizational leadership and the effective implementation of social policy. He has served as a consultant to General Motors Corporation, the Michigan Education Association, several school systems and county and municipal governments in several states.

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Extending the Mission: A New College at UDM

Improvements and enhancements in academic programming are always accompanied by change. It is in the nature of the academic enterprise--perhaps more than any other--that change is a necessary pre-condition for genuine improvement and enhancement. Sometimes the change is small, almost imperceptible. Other times it is dramatic and large-scale. Such is the nature of the change that will occur July 1st when the College of Education & Human Services and the College of Liberal Arts come together to form the new College of Liberal Arts & Education.

This change is more than a change in the name of the two Colleges. This change will bring together faculty groupings previously distanced from one another as a result of the traditional structures of academic departments. In their new configurations, faculty will be better able to engage in interdisciplinary teaching, research and service. Their efforts will become more powerful and dynamic and benefit students, graduates and the community in fresh ways. What are now separate "programs" can become integrated and mutually supportive.

As part of the creation of the new College, most faculty and staff are expected to move to the McNichols Campus of the University by Fall Term 2002. After the 2002-2003 academic year, all courses, including those now taught under the umbrella of Education & Human Services, will be held on the McNichols Campus as well. Library resources are being consolidated and made more accessible in a centralized location at McNichols.

The Education & Human Services Dean's office will be consolidated with that of Liberal Arts. Carol Stoecklin, R.S.M., will continue as the University certification officer, while Associate Dean Karen Waters and I will be in different roles.

Beginning about July 1, I will assume responsibility for the University's governmental and community relations activities. These will be aimed at attracting new and increased governmental resources in support of UDM and our programs. This new initiative comes at a crucial moment in the history of the University of Detroit Mercy. There has never been a time when enhanced support from various legislative and administrative entities has been more important to the future of UDM.

As we move into our new collegiate structure, every effort is being made to ensure a seamless and effortless transition. You can rest assured that the same emphasis on service to the individual and individual needs will continue to be a primary emphasis of the new College. You can also look forward to enhanced and strengthened academic programs tailored to respond to your interests and aspirations in every respect.

It has been a privilege to serve as Dean of the College of Education & Human Services. I look forward to the establishment of the new College, and to witnessing the new and creative ways it will extend the mission of UDM in the coming years.

I close with every good wish to you for continuing success and ever widening accomplishment.

William S. Dunifon
Dean, College of Education & Human Services