New Dean To Lead Augsburg Commitment To Student-Centered Learning In Arts & Sciences

Augsburg University has named Ryan K. Haaland as the dean of Arts & Sciences, responsible for providing vision and leadership for faculty and academic programs, and supporting Augsburg’s emphasis on student-centered learning.  

Haaland comes to Augsburg from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, with many years of collaborative leadership experience in multiple institutional contexts, and 21 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Air Force.  

“Ryan is a passionate educator who shares Augsburg’s commitments to the liberal arts tradition and to serving students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education,” said Karen Kaivola, Augsburg’s provost and chief academic officer. “He will support faculty excellence, and his experience in programmatic innovation that prepares students for meaningful work in the 21st century will be a benefit to our students long after they graduate.”

Haaland will transition to Augsburg this summer and be on campus full-time in July. He also will hold a tenured faculty appointment as professor of physics.

“I’m eager to support the Augsburg mission of educating students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders,” Haaland said. “I also am dedicated to advancing Augsburg’s commitments to equity and inclusion.”

A nationally-recognized leader in broadening participation and diversity in STEM education, Haaland has received numerous grants and developed strategic partnerships that advance pathways and opportunities for students with industry, federal institutions, and research universities. Haaland currently serves as Arts and Sciences Liaison to the Provost at Fort Lewis College, where he is professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering. He serves in this dean-equivalent position with cabinet-level responsibilities that include representing 15 academic departments and 25 degree-granting programs. He helped lead the design and construction of a $35 million state-of-the-art science and engineering facility at Fort Lewis College, where he also developed and launched new computer engineering and interdisciplinary environment science programs. He brings extensive engagement and outreach experience with community partners, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees.

Haaland joined Fort Lewis College in 2006 as a faculty member after serving 12 years in the Department of Physics at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he rose through the faculty ranks from instructor to associate professor and department chair, in addition to other leadership roles. Haaland earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, a master of science degree in space physics from UCLA, and a doctorate of philosophy in physics from the University of Oxford, England.

Devean George ’99 honored by NCAA during Final Four week in Minneapolis

Augsburg University basketball star Devean George, who went on to three NBA championship titles, was honored by the NCAA during men’s Final Four week as one of its 2019 Living Legends.

George grew up in North Minneapolis, played at NCAA Division III Augsburg and went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA, winning three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Off the court, George devoted his time and energy to numerous Minneapolis charitable organizations focused on families, education and children.

View the NCAA press release for more details.

Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow Named Outstanding Fundraising Professional

Paul PribbenowPresident Paul C. Pribbenow is being awarded the highest Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) honor bestowed upon one of its members.

The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award recognizes effective, creative and stimulating leadership, as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising. Pribbenow will formally receive the award on April 2 at the association’s International Fundraising Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“The impact of Paul Pribbenow on the organizations he has served is only exceeded by the impact he has had on the entire fundraising profession,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “It is fair to say that fundraising—and how we look at ethics and philanthropy—would look differently without the contributions of Paul. His work will serve as one of the cornerstones of the profession for years to come, and all of us at AFP are so excited to be able to recognize his extraordinary work and contributions at our conference in San Antonio.”

View the AFP press release. 

Star Tribune Spotlights Augsburg in Academic Freedom and Inclusive Learning Story

Academic freedom on college and university campuses is part of a national dialogue in higher education today. The Star Tribune covered this topic in featuring Augsburg University’s work to be a more inclusive campus.

The story focused on Augsburg as it delves into how today’s increasingly diverse student-centered campuses are managing academic freedom and inclusive learning environments. Reporter Mila Koumpilova interviewed Augsburg faculty, students, and provost.

Read the story.

A Conversation with First Lady Gwen Walz and Gay Rights Advocate Randy Florke on March 26

Randy Florke will speak about the gay rights movement in a conversation with Gwen Walz, an
advocate in her own right for equality, public education, and prison education. Walz is the wife of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and recently began working at Augsburg. Walz and Florke met when they were both Congressional spouses. Florke is married to New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.

When: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
6:30 p.m. Registration
7:00 p.m. Program with Q and A
8:30 p.m. Reception

Where:
Sateren Auditorium, Augsburg University
2200 7 1/2 Street S., Minneapolis

 

This event is free and open to the public

Get tickets at this link. Admission is free.

See Facebook event here.

*Video taping is prohibited to maintain a safe space for dialogue.

Minnesota First Lady to support Augsburg government relations, public service

First Lady Gwen Walz greeted Randy Anderson, a board member with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition.
Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune | First Lady Gwen Walz greeted Randy Anderson, a board member with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition.

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota’s first First Lady in years is aiming to be unlike any other in state history, including her new role as an independent contractor at Augsburg University.

According to the Star Tribune: Gwen Walz is the first First Lady with an office in the Capitol. From there, she’s begun to craft an ambitious policy portfolio that includes education and corrections, though she’s quick to point out that housing and health and other issues are all interrelated.

At Augsburg, she’s serving in two roles: as Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Partnerships and as a Fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship.

The announcement by Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow said that Walz is a long-time friend of the university. “We specifically focused on issues of diversity and equity in the Rochester area,” Pribbenow noted. “We also joined with Mrs. Walz in promoting a program to offer college courses in Minnesota prisons.”

Read the Augsburg announcement.

View the Star Tribune story

Inside Higher Ed Highlights National Debate About Academic Freedom and Inclusive Learning Environments

Important conversations are taking place in higher education nationwide about how learning is affected when racial slurs are spoken in the classroom. This recent Inside Higher Ed article references a variety of opinions on the topic—including perspectives from Augsburg faculty and students.

While the article’s lead paragraph focuses on a specific classroom incident, the inclusivity review currently in progress at Augsburg is based on a broader scope of reported concerns, not on the single event named in the story. Because of Augsburg’s commitment to respecting confidentiality of student and personnel information, the university does not intend to publicly share factual details about the full scope of the concerns reported and under review. See the university’s public statement for further information.

“This is a complex issue, and I’m proud to say that Augsburg’s student newspaper, the Echo, has done an excellent job covering the topic with nuance and accuracy,” said Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow. “Our student journalists have provided a platform for a range of voices reflecting an array of views and perspectives related to the campus conversation.”

Last year, Augsburg’s faculty affirmed its commitment to academic freedom in the context of equity and inclusion; this affirmation is now part of the university’s Student-Faculty Bias/Discrimination policy.

AUGSBURG UNIVERSITY STATEMENT REGARDING ONGOING INCLUSIVITY REVIEW

(Updated March 5, 2019)

This week Augsburg University concluded a review, initiated in October 2018, of student reports about the leadership, culture, and environment of specific classes and in a specific program area. This review involved a wide-ranging set of issues beyond the single classroom incident that was the subject of public discussion and news coverage.

Because of its commitment to respecting confidentiality of student and personnel information, the university does not intend to publicly share factual details about the full scope of the concerns reported, but confirms that its actions during the review process were not based solely on the publicly reported classroom incident.

The conclusion of this review resulted in changes to the instructor’s leadership and teaching assignments in the specific program area, while affirming that future course assignments and instructional load would remain in alignment with the contractual obligations between the instructor and the university.

The following statement outlines the process and conclusion of this review.

Process and resolution

On October 31, 2018, Augsburg leadership began to receive reports related to a classroom incident and to the experiences of students in a specific program area at the university. In response, the university immediately set in motion the process for investigating such situations.

Through this process, Augsburg leadership heard from more than 30 individuals, some of whom who had submitted non-anonymous reports through a variety of available mechanisms, including personal interviews and the university’s Student-Faculty Bias/Discrimination reporting process. The information gathered raised a variety of issues relating both to the particular classroom incident as well as to student experiences beyond that specific event.

In early January, it was concluded that the informal resolution process was insufficient for achieving an appropriate resolution in this case, and the university’s chief academic officer initiated the formal resolution process. As outlined in Augsburg’s Faculty Handbook, the formal process requires consultation with the university’s faculty-elected Committee on Tenure and Promotion and provides a means for faculty to review the administration’s actions as well as to provide input on appropriate next steps.

Based upon all of this input, the university determined outcomes taking into account the broader set of concerns raised by students. As noted above, the outcomes included changes in leadership and instructional roles in a specific program area. Any personnel discussions related to this process will remain confidential.

In addition to the faculty process, Augsburg’s chief academic officer charged a team of faculty, students, and multicultural student services staff to review the specific program area about which concerns had been raised. That review is focused on the program’s vision, structure, and curriculum, and is expected to extend beyond the current academic year.  

Throughout this process, Augsburg remained committed to supporting students’ academic success. Augsburg’s equity commitment, approved by the Augsburg Board of Regents in April 2018, states that “Augsburg must fully embrace the challenge of being the institution its students need today, creating culturally relevant learning spaces and opportunities that build students’ agency to lead change at Augsburg and in their communities.”

Beyond the specific reviews described above, Augsburg leadership recognized that the experience raised important questions about inclusiveness at Augsburg more generally. A variety of institution-wide efforts are underway as a result—including student-led initiatives, faculty-led discussions, and more. A student survey was launched as part of a curricular inclusivity study. A faculty and staff work group was formed to review proposed general education requirements to support intercultural learning. Time was dedicated on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for workshops and intercultural competence development across campus.

“We know that the work of fostering an inclusive learning environment is ongoing, and we are fully committed to it,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “We are grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who have spoken courageously to raise campus awareness, who have engaged in actively listening to the issues being expressed, and who have called for changes that advance our equity work. Augsburg will address this important topic like it has many other critical issues in our 150-year history: We will acknowledge and engage the topic, not shrink from it, and work together to make the university better.”

Star Tribune Explores Diversity at Augsburg University

Star Tribune photo

The Star Tribune showcased Augsburg’s work to build an inclusive learning community as the student body has become increasingly diverse.

There is much challenging work underway, and we are grateful for the many student voices and perspectives helping shape Augsburg’s response to the very real issues of discrimination in our world.

View the article.

 

30th Annual Forum at Augsburg Spurs Media Coverage

The Star Tribune previewed the 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, interviewing guest speaker and Nobel laureate Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Read the editorial: Abolish nuclear weapons? Idealistic. Worthy.

The September 14-15 forum at Augsburg University featured Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have navigated the paradoxes between conflict and reconciliation, between justice and forgiveness, between hope and fear. The event drew other media coverage as well:

Star Tribune — Project brings together Minneapolis police, black men in quest for understanding.

Star Tribune Business Columnist Neal St. Anthony — Business warming to greener economy that combats climate change

MPR Presents — Peter Gleick on ‘The World’s Freshwater: From Conflict to Peace’