Faculty, staff and community members welcomed not one, but two new deans to UCCS during a reception at UCCS Downtown on August 8.
Kevin Laudner began his tenure as dean of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences on July 16. Shortly thereafter, Don Rabern began his own tenure as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Remarks by Chancellor Venkat Reddy and Provost Tom Christensen at the reception highlighted the vital role deans play as a bridge between campus and community.
“Here at UCCS, academic deans are the best advocates for our academic programs,” Reddy said. “They form the bridge between our campus and the business community. They are champions for research, for economic development, and for the intellectual life of our university.”
Christensen added, “Deans play a special role in connecting academics to the larger world, to industry and the future.”
Rabern emphasized UCCS’ reputation for building strong relationships with local industry partners and noted that he is looking forward to creating new opportunities for students in the Colorado Springs community.
“One of my top priorities is to increase high impact experiences for our students,” he said. “It is through our community that we can work together and best shape the direction the College of Engineering and Applied Science for our students today and our students tomorrow.”
Laudner too noted that UCCS’ strong community engagement drew him to the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
“One of the first things that attracted me to UCCS was that the college was dedicated solely to majors involving allied health care,” Laudner said. “Good healthcare is a collaboration – a collaboration between doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists, other specialists, and of course the patient. Everyone in this collaboration must share the same vision to be effective. During my campus interview it was clear that everyone in the college and across campus shared the same vision: to build a stronger, healthier community and to train the next generation of allied healthcare providers.”
Laudner also thanked UCCS and the community for extending a warm welcome to him and his family.
“We have only been here a few weeks,” he said, “but it already feels like home.”
Rabern is an accomplished research engineer with more than a decade of academic leadership experience. Laudner is a nationally-respected shoulder expert and professor of kinesiology with a history of academic leadership success. Both have held prior positions as deans at higher education institutions.