I wanted this blog to focus on ideas about experiential education and not be about me. But I have to note for those of you who do not already know, that after 23 years of being a professor at Northeastern University and 10 of them as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, I am leaving Northeastern to become the next Provost at CUNY Queens College. I will start at Queens on August 26th.
I am excited about my new position and very grateful to Queens for giving me this opportunity. It will be sad to leave Northeastern. Not only do I have many friends there among the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and administration, but it gradually dawned on me as Dean the unusual and successful academic experiment we were doing with experiential education, particularly as a whole College of Arts and Sciences. But a new administration has the right to put together a new team and so I stepped into a sabbatical year last fall. With time to think, I began to see even more clearly the power of experiential education. I was able to work with Shwen to start this blog. I traveled to interview for other academic leadership positions, to work with the World Association of Cooperative Education, and to participate in conferences some of which I have written about here.
I want to personally thank all of my professional and personal friends of all ages who supported me this year. You were and are wonderful. I want to thank my lab, the original source of over 30 years for some of my best learning about the impact of experiential education, particularly on undergraduates who thrived when we trusted you. I want to thank my family, especially my wife Teresa for standing by me always and for endless conversations.
I hope to keep writing this blog for a long time. Physical distance is irrelevant on the web. Shwen and I had the idea from the beginning that writing this blog would be a partnership. I focused that partnership early on getting student perspectives and experience, in part because I expected to be leaving Northeastern. While continuing to include students, I hope to do more writing now with Northeastern faculty, staff, and alumni, and with colleagues at other institutions. When I move to Queens College, I expect to open up another vista of colleagues and friends. But I do want to keep focused here on the ideas, experiences, theories, practices, and other manifestations of this very important complement to academic learning that is experiential education. I believe there is much to learn about education and to teach others.