College & Community Relations

Aims has new academic dean

Submitted on: 07-07-2004

Aimsís new dean for instruction, Dr. Howard Major, began work on July 1. He will take over duties of Susan Cribelli, who is retiring after 32 years. Major comes to Aims from Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla., a land of large bugs and humidity ó two things he wonít miss. "Coming from Florida where itís so hot and humid, itís nice to have the relative dry climate here," Major said as he shopped for a house with a realtor recently. "Iím looking forward to the change of seasons again, although," he said with a chuckle, "I donít want to live where thereís a lot of raking to be done." In Florida, he was a professor of education. Prior to that, he was the assistant dean for instruction at Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville Mich., under Aims President Marsi Liddell before she moved to Greeley. Major said he shares Liddellís philosophy of continuous improvement and he is looking forward to keeping up the model in the Math, Sciences, Communications and Arts division. Major has held other dean positions before, but said he always wanted to be a dean for instruction. ďWhen I read the position announcement, it was exactly what I wanted to do. Dean for Instruction focuses on helping students learn. That is what appeals to me and that is what Iíve focused my career on.Ē As dean, he said he hopes to help the faculty members fulfill their dreams. ďI view my leadership as supporting them and helping them achieve their goals, as opposed to coming in with my goals. The concept of servant leadership fits what I do.Ē Major has a doctoral degree in education, with an emphasis on educational technology, and a masterís degree in library and information science, both from Western Michigan University. He also earned his bachelorís degree in sociology, secondary education there. Prior to working at Glen Oaks, he was the president and lead consultant for Distance Learning Dynamics, a consulting firm for faculty development, instructional design and educational technology, for four years. He was an adjunct professor for 21 years throughout Michigan and served two years as the director of distance education at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. From 1986-95, he served in several capacities at Jackson Community College in Jackson, Mich.: as dean of workforce development, associate dean of instruction, director of distance education, and as the director of the library/learning resources center. He is married to Debbie, who hopes to get her doctorate in northern Colorado. They have five grown children.

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