As strategic planning continues, deans share ideas with Board of Trustees

November 20, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Five academic deans outlined current successes and challenges along with strategic plans in presentations Nov. 19 to a committee of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

Penn State Deans Andrew Sears, College of Information Sciences and Technology; Ann Crouter, College of Health and Human Development; Susan Welch, College of the Liberal Arts; David Monk, College of Education; and William Easterling, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; spoke to the Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life at the invitation of Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas Jones.

As the University prepares a strategic plan for 2016-20, the deans discussed their roadmaps for the future. (Jones later in the day presented the strategic plan to the Board of Trustees Committee on Governance and Long Range Planning.)

Expanding programs through World Campus, increasing out-of-class learning experiences for students and positioning Penn State as a major driver in tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems were common themes.

Among the topics discussed:

  • Sears, Penn State’s newest dean said the College of IST is focused on the intersection of people, technology and education, which creates several opportunities for intercollege collaboration.

    “How do we make sure these technologies are making a positive impact on life?” he asked.
  • Crouter said the College of Health and Human Development is positioned to direct public health campaigns to address society’s health inequalities. She envisions adding one new degree program to World Campus for each of the strategic plan’s five years.
  • Welch touted her college’s Liberal Arts Citizens badging program, which allows students to earn credentials online that show competency in four categories: global perspective, leadership, initiative and engagement.
  • Monk said the College of Education is committed to students receiving real-world practice in the field working through “tactical realities,” including via global internships.
  • Easterling celebrated his college’s position as “climate change science leaders” and the Department of Meteorology’s success in educating four out of 10 of the nation’s on-air weather forecasters.

“We flat out rule The Weather Channel,” Easterling said.

The deans’ presentations offered reassurance that future plans within the academic units are dovetailing with the University’s priorities and goals outlined in its overall strategic plan.

Last Updated September 04, 2020