By Jillian Poland
FSU hosted an open forum question and answer session with David Harycki, a finalist for the position of dean of education, on Wednesday, Feb. 22 in O’Connor Hall.
Susan Dargan is currently the interim dean of education at FSU while the University finds a candidate for the position, according to the department web page.
The FSU community was invited to attend the forum, which was initially to be held in DPAC. The forum organizers forgot to inform students of the venue change to O’Connor, and so the crowd was small, consisting of approximately 14 faculty and staff members.
Harycki, currently dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, opened the forum with a brief statement about his experience and his vision for FSU.
In his opening statement, Harycki explained some of his “core beliefs” as a dean and educator, which include the importance of public education and student involvement in faculty decisions.
He said, “One of the things I’ve done as dean is to bring students to open faculty forums like this. So, if we have a general faculty meeting in the college of education, I will ask representatives of the different student groups to come in and first of all, monitor what we are doing and second of all, participate.”
Harycki also emphasized focusing on university issues beyond just accreditation, the process by which schools are evaluated and validated.
“Accreditation is really the tail on the dog, right? It’s just part of what we do. It shouldn’t be the only thing we do. We have to really build where we want to go.
“And that includes things like diversity issues, poverty issues, how do we connect with our community, how do we become a vital source in the public schools and out in the community as well. I think we can be that instrument,” he added.
The audience asked Harycki about fostering diversity, integrating technology into education, staff dynamics, alumni relations and undergraduate enrollment.
In relation to diversity, Harycki described an initiative he instituted while working at Wayne University that required education students to teach at “majority-minority” schools and have it documented.
“To me, in education, it’s one thing to be a good teacher – it’s another thing to be a good teacher with people who are different than you,” he said.
Before Wayne State, Harycki was associate dean of New Mexico Highlands University School of Education and co-director of the Professional Development School at Iowa, among other positions, according to his 53-page curriculum vitae.
Harycki said, “I think you have a really wonderful thing going on here, and I want to be part of this.”