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The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Kendrick Brown will resume teaching after sabbatical

Following his sabbatical next year, Kendrick Brown will be leaving his position as Associate Dean of Faculty to resume teaching in the psychology department at Macalester.


Brown decided to step down in May 2015 and the decision was officially announced in September 2015 to the greater College community.
This year was his seventh year as Associate Dean of Faculty at Macalester, an engagement that lasted one year longer than he originally intended. He stayed the extra time to finish working on accreditation for Macalester, a project he had already begun to work on.

“I stayed on one extra year beyond what my term would have been because Macalester was going through its accreditation, and I have been working on that ever since I became Associate Dean, so I wanted to see it through to the end, ” Brown said.

This year marks the end of one of the phases of the accreditation process for Macalester.

“So it just makes sense now that this part is done that I just finally take a sabbatical and return to the faculty,” Brown explained.

Brown has been at Macalester in some capacity for 18 years. As a social psychologist, he began teaching in the psychology department as an assistant professor and later as an associate professor, eventually being named Associate Dean of the Faculty seven years ago.

“I became Associate Dean when I was associate professor and became a professor while I was associate dean,” Brown explained.
While serving as Associate Dean, he still taught one course per year in the psychology department, with the exception of a few years.

“There have been a couple of years when I did not teach because there were some things going on administratively in those years. I’ve taught a course called ‘Understanding and Confronting Racism.’ That’s the one that I said that I don’t want to give up. That’s the reason I became a professor, to teach that class,” Brown said.

While Associate Dean, one of Brown’s responsibilities was evaluating faculty at various points in their careers.
Brown explained, “one of my responsibilities is to allow students to evaluate faculty who are standing for promotion, who are also standing for their tenure review and who are standing for their pre-tenure reviews as well.”

He included students in this process by sending them surveys to evaluate the faculty members.

“That’s probably the way in which most people know my name,” Brown said.

He also evaluated the effectiveness of the College at the department level.

“I’ve supervised department reviews. Departments are reviewed about every ten years, so I work with departments to get external folks to come in and give them advice on ways to improve what they’re doing in the department” Brown said.

Brown also evaluated students and the effectiveness of the current curricula in terms how students are learning.

“I’ve also done assessment at the College. I’ve supervised assessments, so making sure the curriculum is achieving what the faculty have in mind for students when they design their curriculum” Brown explained.

After years of serving as Associate Dean, Brown is looking forward to his sabbatical next year, though he is not yet sure exactly what it will entail for him.

“It will involve doing my research because I’ve missed diving into it and really getting students involved in it as well. Then maybe planning out what courses I want to teach when I return to the classroom,” Brown said.
Brown is looking forward to returning to teaching so that he can work closely with students again.

“[Being Associate Dean] took me a little further away from students than I was as a professor, but it really helped me get a sense of the college as a whole and my incredible colleagues, some of the faculty are doing amazing stuff with students and I got to read all of that,” Brown explained. “I would just say that I’ve enjoyed my time as Associate Dean. So this has been a heck of an experience. I’m looking forward to my sabbatical next year but I’ve enjoyed the experience.”

According to the Daily Piper, Paul Overvoorde has been named the Associate Dean of Faculty starting this summer. By press time, The Mac Weekly was not able to gather further information on his appointment.

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