Published July 25, 2013
New Graduate School of Education Dean Jaekyung Lee has appointed four new associate deans, a move that he says will point the school toward its goal of emphasizing interdisciplinary research and inter-professional education from preschool through higher education (P-20 education).
The new associate deans are Greg Dimitriadis, associate dean for academic affairs; Xiufeng Liu, associate dean for interdisciplinary research; Randy Yerrick, associate dean for inter-professional education and engagement; and Jenifer Lawrence, associate dean for student affairs and administration.
The appointments, Lee says, signify his commitment toward turning the school’s many diverse areas of education and research into distinct and coherent themes. Administrators will lead changes toward inter-professional collaboration both “horizontally”—across different fields and professions of practice—and “vertically”—across different levels of the educational pipeline from preschool through college.
The school, he says, will now be focused on better integrating research and teaching goals, whether students’ future career goals are to be college professors, school teachers, administrators, psychologists, counselors or librarians.
“This new appointment of associate deans in GSE signifies our collective commitment and efforts to contribute to Realizing UB 2020 and move our school to new heights,” says Lee, professor of counseling, school and educational psychology who was appointed dean earlier this summer after serving as interim dean since July 2012.
“Through this emphasis on interdisciplinary research and inter-professional P-20 education, we will break silos and work as a team for a unified vision across the departments and programs,” he explains.
Lee also says he hopes the new administrative structure will work toward building better faculty mentoring and student/alumni service, ultimately building a stronger GSE community.
“I am confident that these new leaders will help GSE advance further on our four institutional goals: world leadership in research and scholarship, superior teaching and learning, students proud of their experience, and engaging partners to help and learn.”
The four associate deans represent a range of expertise that will help the school move toward those four goals: Dimitriadis has expertise in academic and faculty matters; Liu has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on large national research grants; Yerrick has expertise in educational technology applications (Apple Educator), as well as working with local schools and educators; and Lawrence has administrative experience in student and alumni matters, and student counseling.
"This is an extraordinarily exciting time for GSE,” says Dimitriadis, professor of educational leadership and policy. “I look forward to helping GSE develop academic policies that will strengthen our core mission and highlight our unique and distinct academic strengths.”
In his new role, Dimitriadis will work on new ways to serve and support faculty as they strive for the “highest standards of scholarship in their respective fields.”
“I will also be working to ensure that all students benefit from a fully engaged and distinctly recognized research faculty,” he says. “I especially look forward to helping make GSE a more integral part of UB’s broader academic mission as we continue to work together on the UB 2020 plan.”
Liu, a professor of learning and instruction, will help build a culture within the GSE that encourages interdisciplinary research.
“GSE has many great scholars whose research is nationally and internationally well-known,” says Liu. “We can become an even greater school with more distinct research programs and impactful research outputs.”
Yerrick, professor of science instruction in the Department of Learning and Instruction, brings a distinguished career of innovative online classroom instruction to his new position.
He says that UB 2020 “has many strategic goals that require collaboration between and among UB academic units and agencies, and institutions external to our university. GSE houses a wealth of knowledge and resources that can be instrumental in leading the charge to improve education for all students,” he says.
Lawrence, clinical faculty member in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, currently serves as an associate dean, but Lee has redefined and expanded her role to include student career services and alumni-student networking.
“Creating positive feelings in our students and alumni about their GSE educational experiences is paramount to my role as associate dean for student affairs and administration,” Lawrence says. “It is GSE’s responsibility to respond to the diverse needs and interests of our students, and alumni outreach can play a critical role in the creation of satisfactory learning communities.”