College of Education dean position changes hands

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This fall, David Callejo Perez will take over as the dean of the College of Education.

The change occurred upon Craig Douglas’ retirement in July after completing his three-year commitment to the job.
Douglas said this was an opportune time to retire given the recent teacher shortages in Michigan.

“I had the privilege of being in education when the whole field flipped,” Douglas said. “We went from having a surplus of teaching candidates and having no jobs, and within the course of five years, that entirely flipped.”

During Dogulas’ tenure, the College of Education created the Heroes of Education event, which brings in teachers across the Saginaw community to speak to teacher candidates; an SVSU chapter of The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, which provides resources to students going into the field of education; many education fairs; guest speakers; and more.

Douglas said he was most excited about the creation of the Accelerated Residency Program (ACR) last year. ACR helps those who already have a bachelor’s degree gain teacher certification in one academic year.

Douglas views earning national accreditation during his first year as dean as one of the College of Education’s proudest accomplishments.

“Constantly, we came through very strong throughout the accreditation process,” Douglas said. “It was a team effort. A lot of people stepped up.”

While Douglas struggled with learning the university perspective of education early in his tenure, he believes this is one strength Perez will bring to the job.

“Frankly, (Perez) doesn’t need any advice,” Douglas said. “He’s much more knowledgeable about higher education; he’s got a track record in higher-education.”

Perez plans on using his background as the Carl A. Gerstacker Endowed Chair for the College of Education at SVSU in 2009 and as associate provost in 2014 to re-energize the College of Education.

“Given the recent demand for teachers, it’s time that the College of Education rethinks our role at the university and the community,” Perez said.

Perez wants to help the College of Education maximize the resources they can provide SVSU students and the community.

“(Douglas) did a really good job energizing the external partnerships and reconnecting the College of Education to the greater community,” Perez said. “The idea now is: how do we create more opportunities for students, how do we give more opportunities on campus, how do we engage our faculty so SVSU’s College of Education can again be center in the community?”

Perez praised Douglas’s ability to create relationships on campus and in the community, which Perez believed helped the College of Education be able to create things like the new ACR program and new community relationships.
While Perez takes over as interim dean, Douglas plans on staying involved on campus and within the Saginaw community through charity work and public service.

Deborah Huntley, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will lead the search for Douglas’ permanent replacement.