Joan Brewer, the fourth and final candidate for Dean of the Department of Applied Sciences, met with students and faculty on Friday morning to discuss how to approach potential positions.
Brewer is currently President of Emporia State Teachers College. Brewer started his career as a math educator and coach.
“My background really hovers between educator preparation and the coaching field of exercise science,” said Brewer. “For the last 22 years of his career, I was at Emporia State University, and I have been in leadership for 13 of those years.”
Beginning in 2020 as Dean, Brewer has learned the value of relationships in leadership roles.
“People need to feel valued,” Brewer said. “I want to know people. I’m not going to be a dean who… hides in my office. [and] interact with individuals. “
Student retention is a hotly debated topic, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brewer wants to focus on increasing student retention at CAS.
“Faculty needs to really focus on retention. That’s where they have the most impact,” Brewer said. “Retention to me is about relationships. It’s connecting with students.”
If elected dean, Brewer plans to learn and understand the culture of Wichita State University before making larger decisions about the university.
“What I really want to do is first take the time to listen, ask questions, and learn from students as well as faculty and staff,” said Brewer. “I tend to be a collaborative leader, so really when I develop a vision, I want to get buy-in from all stakeholders, so they can have a say in it. I think it’s important.”
The university president is responsible for deciding who becomes the dean. University administrators hope to make a decision by the end of October.
For more information on Brewer, see emporia.edu. Information about other candidates for CAS Dean can be found at thesunflower.com.