EHS associate dean candidate Elizabeth Kirby: Online education, international involvement key in success
College of Education and Human Services associate dean candidate Elizabeth Kirby said Thursday online education and international collaboration are key in strengthening Central Michigan University’s teacher education program.
Kirby, chairwoman of education leadership, is one of two candidates for the position and spoke to more than 30 people at an open forum in the EHS building. The associate dean will be responsible for supporting the dean with anything regarding the college, including curriculum, budgeting and the development of faculty.
“Through my career and my life, my focus has been education,” she said. “This opportunity to utilize my skills and strengths is extremely appealing.”
The future of the program’s online classes were quickly addressed.
“We’ve talked about this, we’ve looked at this and we’ve felt a serious intention to creating the biggest capacity we could to deliver education anytime, anywhere and also being able to be portable and flexible,” Kirby said.
She said the losses in teachers and students in Michigan would force the department to look at what could be offered online.
“We’ve lost 1,100 teachers in Michigan the past few years and we’ve lost 50,000 students. That all plays its way upward in terms of who is going to come to CMU,” Kirby said. “The competition is immense. In essence, we want to be competitive and we want to attract audiences inside Michigan and outside.”
In terms of international involvement, Kirby is working on bringing Chinese teachers to campus in hopes of bringing them back for a summer program.
“I think globally that outreach is important and the relationships will only strengthen the college,” Kirby said.
Kirby also spoke about her scholarly works and how it is important for leaders to continue to learn.
“I regularly publish and present nationally,” she said. “I think that is a critical aspect of what we do. We model for students and for faculty that this is the culture of what we are living here at CMU.”
Making a difference in CEHS is important to Kirby.
“I really believe in serving and using my strengths as a leader in any way I can to strengthen committee membership or whatever opportunities there may be,” Kirby said. “I think you will find that I will be a staunch advocate for all the programs and would like to use my energies, talents and time to help all of the departments advance.”
A candidate will be chosen to fill the position in the coming weeks. Megan Goodwin, human environmental studies chair, is the other candidate for the position and held an open forum Monday.
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