With the departure of College and Arts and Sciences Dean Lawrence Potter in January, Brian Clocksin, professor of kinesiology who previously served as the associate dean, took the helm as interim dean last month.
Clocksin said he plans to focus on three themes: safety, effectiveness and efficiency.
“How are we as faculty creating an environment where students can learn most efficiently?,” Clocksin said.
“How are we as colleagues creating an environment where the work is supported? And how are we creating a collegial environment that falls into the safety aspect.”
Clocksin said he tends to be more quiet while he thinks about what to say, but always tries to speak his mind.
“I try to say what needs to be said and not just talk for talking’s sake,” Clocksin said. “I try to listen more than talk.”
Clocksin said the dean’s office will play a role in ensuring an environment where students, faculty and staff are supported.
This has begun, he said, with workshops on microaggressions and effective teaching related to engaging students in active learning environments, which were conducted last month.
“We will continue to look at ways that we are promoting an environment that is inclusive and holistic,” Clocksin said. “And capitalize on the diversity that makes La Verne what it is.”
Clocksin appointed Ngoc Bui, professor of psychology, as the interim associate dean.
Bui previously served as the undergraduate psychology program chairwoman.
Clocksin said he chose Bui to serve as associate dean because of her long affiliation with the University and her leadership with students.
“She is very student centered in her approaches,” Clocksin said. “She is able to make decisions that are college-wide decisions and not necessarily program wide decisions.”
Bui’s focus will be faculty affairs, effectiveness and planning with a main focus on productivity.
“I stepped in because I wanted to try expanding my skill set,” Bui said, adding that she is eager to get up to speed on the new job’s expectations.
“I would like in my short time doing this to make things more straightforward and direct,” Bui said.
“In terms of what things often need to get done and what things we would need from these different programs and units.”
Bui said she hopes the office serves as a place where people can get work accomplished as opposed to providing vague answers or initiatives to figure out on their own.
Bui said her style differs from Clocksin in that she is more vocal and loud, while he is more reserved.
“He is very much into details and fine tuning things,” Bui said. “I agree with having some kind of structure instead of haphazardly saying, ‘Oh let us get this together last minute.’”
“He is a good dean in that he is consistent, reliable and people can easily talk to him and get answers,” Bui said.
“And if he can’t find answers he can find a way to get those answers.”
Also in the dean’s office is Ian Lising, associate dean for curriculum, scheduling and student affairs, who has been in the position since 2016.
Lising has been at the University for more than a decade prior to his stint in the dean’s office.