COE dean candidate tells plans

Allison Little, Staff Reporter

Eastern hosted the second candidate for the College of Education dean search.

The second candidate is Laretta Henderson, associate dean of the School of Information Studies and an affiliate faculty in African and African Diasporic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

During the open session, Henderson discussed her beliefs on the importance of securing funds so Eastern can facilitate various projects to benefit students in the College of Education if she is chosen to be the dean.

Henderson said when it comes to grant funds, service projects can be great ways to benefit both students and the communities they reside in.

“The other thing I do know a lot about is grant writing and finding not only academic grants, but service grants as well. One of the things that I have always wanted to do was get an IMLA grant and get little bitty tables for the library and big stuffed animals so that the library is a welcoming place to children, real-live, honest to goodness children so that when students with children come in to study, they can bring their children so that the local schools can come in, and we can do story time,” Henderson said. “So that’s just an IMLA grant, so that wouldn’t take a whole lot of money, but you know so grants are also going to be a big loop that we can use to get funds. But at the end of the day funding is limited, it’s just limited, and throwing money at problems is not the way to go forward.”

Henderson said the methods Eastern uses to obtain funding from donors needs to be carefully planned, considering the limitations of the college, the community and the donors.

Additionally, plans developed from the funds need to remain sustainable; otherwise, they are not worth pursuing, she said.

“We have to be strategic in our initiatives, you only have a limited amount of time and we have to decide as a community where our strengths are and where our weaknesses are and what we want to focus on, and once we do that, I can go out and find money. But notice people don’t tend to give money to a general fund; they give money to scholarships, programs and to support initiatives, so you have to have a vision — you have to have a plan, and that plan has to be sustainable,” Henderson said. “We can only beg for money for so long; at what point in time will that be sustainable, how is it going to be sustainable, and if it’s not going to be sustainable there is no reason to start it.”

Henderson said her decision-making process is deliberate, considering the values, role and identity of the university.

“So first of all, we have to be clear about our strategic approach; if you don’t have one, we’ll create one together, and it will be in line with the university. So who are we, where do we want to go and in what order do we want things to happen?” Henderson said. “That is the way that I will make decisions, along with the strategic plans, and one of those strategic plans always has to be the retention and graduation of students.”

The next dean candidate for the College of Education is James Sottile, who will visit Eastern on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Room 4440 of Booth Library.

Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].