Over the past 10 years, the administration, staff, faculty, and students have worked hard to establish The Erickson School and create a strong foundation. The next dean will have the opportunity to build upon it and realize the school’s growth potential in terms of reputation, enrollment, and thought leadership. Keeping in line with the new strategic plan, the dean will engage in the following priorities:
- Building External Relationships and Enhancing Image – The Erickson School has made progress over the last ten years in becoming a recognized name within the field of aging services, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region. The dean will work to expand the School’s reach outside of the region and build relationships with corporate, non-profit, and other academic institutions to find synergies and create partnerships, while also increasing the recognition of the School. It will also be important for the dean to fundraise and identify donors across the aging services field who support the mission of the School.
- Marketing the Opportunities and Increasing Enrollment – The programs offered by The Erickson School give students the opportunity to become leaders in all aspects of the “longevity economy”. The dean will work with The Erickson School’s marketing and recruiting team to continue to dispel the myths potential younger students have about the concept of aging and showcase the numerous career opportunities. The dean will work with the faculty and staff to increase enrollment in all programs offered by the School by continuing to tap into the local partnerships and also seeking to recruit students from across the nation.
- Expanding Campus Collaborations – The dean will seek to expand collaborations with other UMBC academic units and programs to build on the School’s interdisciplinary aging perspective. Organizationally UMBC currently features a broad range of aging-related expertise, practice, and research areas including, but not limited to: engineering and information technology, human-centered computing, biology, psychology, economics, public policy, social work, sociology, anthropology, visual arts, The Hilltop Institute, The Division of Professional Studies, and the joint doctoral program in gerontology with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
- Innovating the Curriculum and Developing New Programs – The Erickson School seeks to prepare leaders to improve the lives of the older adults by offering a unique, integrated curriculum model based largely in practice. With many faculty who teach and work in the field, the dean will work with faculty to be on the pulse of the needs of the aging services field and incorporate those needs into the School’s programs. The dean will also seek to create different delivery models and programs to offer students, such as online courses and certificate programs. In order to support the innovation and growth of programs, the dean will recruit nationally recognized faculty to contribute to these offerings as well as to the thought leadership of the School.
- Supporting Broader Research Opportunities – The Erickson School’s faculty currently conduct highly regarded translational research in the aging field and have created innovative pedagogical approaches. The dean will have the opportunity to create and strengthen research partnerships with other UMBC scholars who are conducting related academic research as well as with external partners both within and beyond the University System of Maryland and including research and technology firms. In addition, the dean will be tasked with helping to encourage and support faculty to look for external funding opportunities such as grants.