A message from incoming Dean Charles Marske
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Saint Louis University; Research Director, The Peter A. Munch Tristan da Cunha Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, Pius Memorial Library, Saint Louis University
Ph.D., Social Theory and Research Methodology, Southern Illinois University; National Endowment for the Humanities Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago
St. Louis University Distinguished Service Award; Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship; Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers; Who’s Who Worldwide
Classical Social Thought; Contemporary Sociological Theory; Theories of Crime; Advanced Isssues in Criminal Justice Policy; The Political-Economics of Air Safety; Regulatory Policy and Culture
I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University of Detroit Mercy as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education. One of the most compelling reasons I accepted the position was because I believe that both the University and the College are exemplars of a value-based education that emphasize service for others. As such, I believe they both deserve the very best of our efforts and talents. My wife and I have believed in this University and what it stands for long before I ever envisioned working here, for our youngest son has attended and our daughter is attending UDM. That we entrusted our children to this institution and deeply appreciate that both of them have been well served by the University is testament to our longstanding feelings about the University of Detroit Mercy.
A second important reason I was attracted to the College of Liberal Arts and Education was because of the impact Father John Staudenmaier had on me during my visit. A nationally recognized scholar, he appreciates and embodies both the values of academe – the importance of critical thinking, fostering diverse viewpoints, freedom of speech, and open dialogue – as well as the role of service to others as embodied in the traditions of the Society of Jesus and the Sisters of Mercy. Having spent 26 wonderful years at St. Louis University, a Jesuit university, the University of Detroit Mercy is one of the very few places that could have motivated me to leave my present position. I thank Father for all his hard work and leadership of the College as interim dean.
These are tough times in higher education. Finances are tight and competition is extraordinary, both from other private as well as public colleges and universities. I firmly believe that it is essential that universities develop new ways of accessing community resources in ways that benefit both the community and the university. The opportunities are legion. The greatest challenge is developing the necessary conduits that serve as linkages to the right people, agencies, and organizations in the community. In the process of building these linkages in Saint Louis, I quickly discovered how our alumni are an invaluable resource. Too often, there is a tendency to only look to alumni as potential financial donors to the university. Indeed, many are loyal donors and we deeply appreciate this. However, there is an array of exciting possibilities for greater involvement in the life of the university on the part of our graduates. Reaching out to help our current students and faculty while also helping the larger community is a winning combination that can take many forms. These include: providing advice to our students as they prepare for and envision a career in your field, offering employment opportunities and contacts for our students, helping to identify and recruit potential students, serving as a participant on a career orientation panel or a current issues forum on campus. Alumni could also serve as a contact for keeping us informed about opportunities to partner with community agencies, businesses, and government as possible opportunities for carrying out faculty research, consulting, and co-grant writing as well as for continuing education, student practicums, internships, and cooperative learning.
Our objectives are to discover new and exciting ways to better educate our students, to serve those in need, and to develop new streams of income. In the department I currently chair, most of our greatest successes in building new streams of income, developing new and exciting ways to better train and educate our students, and serve others in need throughout the community came about because our alumni have begun to be our eyes and ears in the larger community. They are tuned into looking for new ways to help their former department and alma mater. For those of you so involved with your former department, the College of Liberal Arts and Education, or the University of Detroit Mercy, it indicates your willingness to share your time, energy, and talents in the service of others. This not only says something very positive about you but also about the University. To those of you who are not involved with the University of Detroit Mercy, I have come to know how important you can be in helping us build an even better university. I hope to have the opportunity to share my vision of that with you and invite you to join us in this journey.
To whatever extent we can meaningfully involve our alumni in the life of the University, I believe both the alumni and the University will benefit. I look forward to meeting and working with as many of you as possible.Charles E. Marske, Ph.D.