For 23 years, the Department of Professional and Graduate Studies (PGS) has only had one dean to monitor a majority of the academic disciplines. For one individual, it can be a lot of work – meeting with staff, making academic plans, etc. With an increase in academic programs, such as the addition of the nursing program in 2011, the demands of the dean have increased. Last year, the board of PGS decided to implement a new method – having two deans.
Although the idea of having two deans for one department is new, Keene State College is not the first institution to do so. The Law Schools of Rutgers University, the University of Minnesota and Case Western Reserve University have all hired two deans.
Ms. Anne Miller and Dr. Karrie Kalich were asked to take on the position of Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies. Miller said she is “really happy to be here – really happy,” and also proud to be a part of “a strong team… [working with] great faculty and staff.”
Kalich was a graduate student at Keene State College and has always wanted to come back. “I’m going to come back and teach with you one day,” she remembers saying to Pam Smith, her nutrition professor at the time. Kalich not only kept her promise, but went beyond what was expected.
Both women hold graduate degrees, Miller with her Masters in Community Service, and Kalich with a PhD in Nutrition. While neither of these degrees involve managing a college, Miller and Kalich are more than qualified for the job.
Before her current position, Miller was the Assistant Vice President of Academics Affairs (AVPAA). This job held many responsibilities as she worked beside the Vice President of Academic Affairs. She also noted that although her degree does not correlate directly to being a dean, it does play a large role.
Kalich received her Bachelors in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Penn State University, located in University Park, Pennsylvania. She later attended Keene State College and Boston University to obtain degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition, respectively. After she graduated from Tufts University with her PhD, Kalich returned to Keene State to teach Health Science. She eventually became the Assistant Dean of PGS, and then the Associate Dean.
Kalich is also a published author. Her books “Early Sprouts” and “The Early Sprouts Cookbook” focus on diminishing childhood obesity. In addition, she has won seven different awards, some of which include the 2009 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the 2011 Keene State College Faculty Distinction in Research and Scholarship Award.
As deans, Miller and Kalich are required to work mainly with the 14-15 heads of the academic centers (Dietetic Internship, Education, Architecture, etc.), to solve problems and create more opportunities for the school.
“For both of us, it feels gratifying,” said Miller. “[It’s] meaningful work.”
KSC Senior Aryanah Haydu said the school made a good decision getting two new deans. “I guess two people looking for all the programs would make it more successful; they would be able to keep track more.”
Haydu said she thinks it could help the students.
Miller and Kalich share an office in Rhodes Hall and can be contacted via email or telephone.
The board of Professional and Graduate Studies will evaluate the results of having two deans at the end of the school year and decide whether or not to make both positions official.
Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org