Grad school dean finalists outline plans for the future in public presentations

The three candidates applying to become the dean of the Graduate School gave presentations about their goals for the position during weeks two and three. Dr. Scott Pratt, Dr. Andy Berglund and Dr. Mia Tuan each spoke for an hour and answered questions from the audience, which included graduate students, undergraduate students and members of the administration.

Here is what they said:

Dr. Scott Pratt

Dr. Scott Pratt, a professor of Philosophy, emphasized the need for finding donors among Graduate School alumni during his presentation, citing resources as one of the challenges that the dean of the Graduate School will face. Pratt said that he aims to address this challenge by including faculty and students in the fundraising process

“People don’t understand what a graduate program is for the most part,” Pratt said. “They know about the degrees and so on but if you’re talking to people who aren’t familiar, the best people to explain it are people that are a part of it.” Pratt aims to support other schools and departments in their fundraising efforts as well.

Pratt also spoke about the need to increase student enrollment, both in the masters and doctoral programs. Pratt proposed making doctoral enrollment a priority and that the dean’s role would facilitate program improvement, development, recruitment and successful completion. He would do this by working directly with different departments and schools within the UO, and possibly exploring alternative pedagogies within doctoral programs.

To view his presentation, click here.

Dr. Andy Berglund

Andy Berglund has filled the position of interim dean of the Graduate School since April.

Berglund’s goals focus on a theme of growing recruitment and retention in the graduate school by expanding Promising Scholars program, a recruitment award for incoming graduate students.

“When I first came to the graduate school there was very much a focus on recruiting students. I wanted to change to the focus so it’s more about retaining students,” Berglund said.

Berglund is interested in growing the program over 10 years, which will aim to add a second year of funding for graduate students that can be used for dissertation completion, and result in growing the number of awards from 25 to 50. He will implement meetings to find the best strategies to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups.

Other goals outlined in Berglund’s presentation were his 10-year goal to raise an endowment of 20 million to support graduate education and to provide fellowships and funding to 400 graduate students per year by 2020.

To view his presentation, click here.

Dr. Mia Tuan

Mia Tuan, associate dean of the Graduate School and professor within the Education Studies department, hopes to “be bold” in her plans as dean.

Tuan plans to mirror the UO’s current faculty clusters of excellence process, in which the university fundraises for roughly 200 new faculty lines in priority areas, and enacting a similar process for graduate students. The Graduate School would fundraise to bring in 200 new graduate students, both masters and doctoral, and would fund them. The new students could receive three or four years full-ride.

“It’s saying, ‘We want you so much that we’re going to offer you a package that is really attractive and really competitive so that you can come here and be a graduate student,'” Tuan said.

Tuan’s other priority is to become a national model for AAU graduate education by delivering an exceptional student experience. The ability to offer students a full-ride education is one way Tuan proposes doing so. Another is to play a larger role in recruitment and retention by creating campus-wide recruitment events and summer orientation events.

To view her presentation, click here.

Follow Francesca Fontana and Kaylee Tornay on Twitter @francescamarief @ka_tornay

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Francesca Fontana

Francesca Fontana

Francesca is the associate news editor for community news.
She worked as The Register-Guard's 2015 Snowden Intern, and studies journalism and economics.