We have made it to the end of another academic year, and I will take a few minutes to pause and reflect before diving into the projects that have been unattended to as the result of a very busy spring. We have commencement ceremonies tonight and tomorrow, and I am very happy for the students that I have worked with who will be graduating this weekend.
I have finished my final class towards my doctorate degree, and am now in the process of writing my dissertation proposal, with the hopes of conducting my research in the fall before writing and defending the final product. My study is focusing on the self-efficacy of practitioners to manage conflict in the student conduct setting, with student conduct including adjudicatory processes, mediation, restorative justice practices, conflict coaching, and other forums of resolution. I have identified a host institution and am really looking forward to getting underway, with the hopes of being able to participate in my own commencement ceremony next May.
This summer is focused on getting the doctoral proposal submitted, as well as moving forward on some NCHERM projects. One thing I am very excited about is the upcoming new mediation curriculum, which I am hoping will be done by the end of the summer. We have been using some of the new material in training programs, and the revised curriculum is definitely an upgrade over the older Mastering Mediation materials. More information will follow about the completion of these materials, as well as when and where they will be available for campuses to purchase.
Next, some exciting news at Illinois State; this morning Dr. Timothy Flanagan was named as the 18th President of Illinois State University, replacing Dr. Al Bowman, who is retiring as of next week. Dr. Flanagan is currently the President of Framingham State College in Framingham, Massachusetts, where he also serves as a professor of sociology. Previously, he served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor of criminal justice at College at Brockport, State University of New York. Dr. Flanagan holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Flanagan also received his M.A. at Albany, as well as a B.A. from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. Everyone here at ISU knows that Dr. Bowman has helped transform our institution during his tenure, and the common theme here is that he is leaving very big shoes to fill. This is a very different institution than the one I arrived at more then seventeen years ago; we are far better academically and we are in sound financial shape thanks to Dr. Bowman and his team. A sense of Redbird Pride exists here now that was unheard of just ten years ago, and Dr. Bowman deserves much of the credit. I am looking forward to seeing where our institution goes from here, and wish Dr. Flanagan all of the best as he takes over an institution that I love dearly.
On a more personal note, my wife and I will be finally getting away for our honeymoon this summer as we head off to spend some time on a distant beach. Then when we get back she will be starting her new job working here at Illinois State, which I am also very excited about.
I have been making some updates to this site and am trying to freshen it up a bit… more content and links will be added over the new few weeks. I’ll also be posting more updates this summer as developments warrant… in the meantime I wish everyone a happy summer!