College of Arts and Media dean candidate Jefferson Campbell discusses retention, department merging


Chair of the College of Arts and Media Dean Search Committee Ray Christie, senior vice provost for academic administration (left) leads the forum for candidate Jefferson Campbell (right) in the Staples Family Concert Hall in the Music Building on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Jefferson Campbell discussed retention and merging departments during the second forum in the ongoing search for Central Michigan University's next Dean of the College of the Arts and Media.

Campbell addressed students and faculty Nov. 30 in the Music Building's Staples Family Concert Hall during the second of four candidate forums

Currently, Campbell works at University of Minnesota where he has filled several roles since 2005. He is a professor of bassoon and has served as department head of music, the interim associate dean of the School of Fine Arts, interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and interim associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, a position he has held since July of 2021.

"I'm very aware of the challenges that are facing your campus," Campbell said. "The enrollment doesn't scare me. I have quite an extensive background in recruitment and retention, it's something I'm passionate about."

Campbell said that a big part of retention is helping all students feel comfortable and welcomed. He emphasized the importance highlighting diversity, equity and inclusion within the college.

"Some of the retention part with the first (and) second year retention, is creating opportunities for students to feel like they belong, especially in those first couple of weeks that they're on campus," Campbell said. "That involves some social events (and) that also just involves making them feel part of a cohort within their own academic discipline."

In addition to retention, Campbell discussed his experience with merging of departments. He had been involved in the merging of departments and colleges previously. He discussed how CMU could have departments work together more.

"One of the attractive things is the massive amount of potential things you're already accomplishing with each of your students in the individual programs," Campbell said. "When I went through the the broadcast and communicative arts facility and saw the two radio station booths, and the video booth, my mind started going to about a million different places of how that could be incorporated into any of the other majors."

Campbell's forum followed Michael Thrasher's yesterday. Two more will be held on Thursday and Friday this week.