Now hiring: GW’s education school

Media Credit: Hatchet file photo by Meredith Roaten | Hatchet Photographer

Michael Feuer, the dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, said he expects to hire a group of faculty by this summer to start at the beginning of the academic year.

The education school is staffing up.

There are currently 14 open positions for the Graduate School of Education and Human Development posted on GW’s job website, making up about 15 percent of the school’s current positions. Faculty and deans in the school say they are interviewing applicants for the positions, and that the majority of the spots opened up because faculty retired or moved.

Dean Michael Feuer said he expects a group to be hired by this summer and ready to start in the next academic year.

“We have search committees at various stages of the recruitment and screening process, and are now bringing candidates to campus for interviews,” Feuer said.

There are 94 total faculty members listed on the school’s website. Nov. 14, there were 97 faculty listed on the school’s website, according to an archived version of the site.

Feuer declined to comment on how many of these positions are new, how long the hiring process typically takes, if GSEHD is doing anything different to recruit applicants and why the number of open job positions in GSEHD continues to increase annually.

We continue to be surprised at the high level of folks who want to come work at GW.

The education school has been through a series of changes in recent years: After enrollment dropped by more than 20 percent by 2013, school leaders began adding new programs through a strategic plan in 2014. Since then, enrollment numbers have increased and the school added a new doctorate degree.

Colin Green, the interim senior associate dean and an associate professor of curriculum and pedagogy, said there are eight ongoing faculty searches, a combination of non-tenure track and tenure track positions. He said the number of openings will vary depending on the year but that eight positions is normal for the school.

Green said people in the school have retired and moved to different areas, so the majority of the open positions are filled from existing positions. He added that the search committees will finish interviewing the week after spring break.

“Both faculty and the dean’s office in the School of Ed. have been really impressed by the caliber of people who are applying for faculty positions,” Green said. “We continue to be surprised at the high level of folks who want to come work at GW.”`

Sharon Dannels, interim associate dean for doctoral studies who has worked at the school for 16 years, said the school is running a national search to screen candidates before selecting potential hires and conducting phone interviews. She said school leaders will invite finalists to campus for full-day presentations and interviews.

She said there are no new programs or departments that new staff members will join. Newly hired faculty are replacing retired faculty, she said.

“We don’t have any new departments,” Dannels said. “The hires are in current departments.”

Matthew Shirrell, an assistant professor of educational leadership and administration who began at GSEHD in August, said he applied for the position in fall 2015 and was hired in April 2016.

GW had the perfect balance between working with teachers and practitioners who are actually in the field and in research.

Shirrell said he had an offer from another institution but decided on GW because of the school’s focus on research.

“GW had the perfect balance between working with teachers and practitioners who are actually in the field and in research,” Shirrell said. “I really enjoy interacting with, working with and teaching people who are practicing teachers. At the same time, it’s a university that also has a lot of research support.”

Shirrell said he had a Skype interview before flying to D.C. in the winter to give research and teaching presentations and have one-on-one meetings with program members, the search committee and deans.

The school’s enrollment is rising, especially through online programs, and faculty are retiring, which has led to the hiring push, Shirrell said.

From 2015 to 2016, enrollment increased by 114 students, according to statistics from GW’s institutional research office.

“The new hires bring a new perspective,” he said. “Having been at other institutions seeing the way other schools of education do things, having a different perspective impacts decisions that are made at a program level, at a department level and at a school level.”

Mikyong Minsun Kim, an associate professor of higher education administration said in an email that the new hires, both faculty members and administrators, affect the ability of operating the business at different levels and often change the schools’ dynamics and culture.

“People is the most important factor in higher education,” Minsun Kim said.

Sharon Wong contributed reporting.

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