Graduate School Dean adds new title to build visibility, programs

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Graduate School Dean Douglas Woods will take on the new job title of vice provost for graduate and professional studies.

The change is to better align his role with the office of the provost’s operations while improving the graduate school’s involvement in Marquette affairs.

“It sends a message to the campus community about the importance of graduate professional education on Marquette’s campus,” Woods said. “We want to make sure the graduate program is properly represented.”

Woods said the graduate school needs to be better represented and the students need to feel like they’re a part of campus. He believes this new title sends the message that graduate education is something that the university is focused on improving and building on.

Provost Daniel Myers said the visibility of the graduate school position needed to be elevated.

“The provost’s office operations will benefit from having that position participating in our cabinet-level discussions, given the wide scope of graduate programs and research across the colleges,” Myers said in an email.

Woods said he will retain all of his previous responsibilities as graduate dean and gain new obligations with the new title. He said generating new programs across multiple colleges will be a goal of his.

The combination of different majors and colleges is one trend in college education Woods noticed. He said artificial barriers are starting to break down and this title allows him to help facilitate programs between colleges.

“Sometimes you need people who can step out of their own college,” Woods said. “This new title would allow me to get a bird’s eye view across all the colleges to see if we can start putting together programs from different colleges that will be beneficial to the students.”

Woods’ new role also requires that he oversee a new program called the Program Incubator. He said this program will provide faculty with another avenue to help create new programs and get them running fairly quickly.

Woods said the main use of the incubator will be to fill some sort of need, whether that’s a business or social need, and allow students to use them to get valuable jobs after college. He said he hopes this new idea will help graduate education at Marquette get ahead of the curve.

Myers said it became apparent that the dean of graduate school title wasn’t covering the entire position.

“The new title will better align Dr. Woods’ role with the provost office operations,” Myers said. “Strategically (the new title) is very important especially in advancing the goals and objectives outlined in the university’s strategic plan around growing graduate studies and research.”