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The new dean of CAS, Glen Krutz, plans to focus on student success

Glen Krutz

He’s only beginning his collection of orange.

Glen Krutz has a couple of sport shirts and four orange ties to go with the new orange campus where he now works: Oklahoma State University.

Krutz, the former vice-provost at the University of Oklahoma, was selected as the new dean of the College of Arts and Science after a year-long nation-wide search.

Eventually, Krutz's closet will be transformed. But first, he's working on getting more familiar with his surroundings and his new job description.

“I’m going to be learning a lot these first few days and weeks for sure, but definitely being a good listener, getting input who are on the ground so to speak,” Krutz said. “One of the things that appeals to me about being a dean as opposed to being in the provost office is deans are a bit closer to the action.”

Krutz’s first official day on campus was July 1. He’s taking over the role as dean from Jeanette Mendez, the interim dean for CAS. Mendez took over the position last July when Bret Danilowicz left for Florida Atlantic University.

“I had a wonderful experience, I think we were able to solve a handful of things that we wanted to solve within departments,” Mendez said. “I spent the year moving the college forward in my opinion and I think we had a good time, among the dean’s office interacting and feeling like we made some positive changes.”

There are still issues Krutz will need to tackle as CAS dean. Many of the older buildings such as physical science and the Paul Miller Journalism and Broadcasting building are in need of repairs and renovations. Student needs are also changing as more incoming freshman are taking more Advanced Placement classes and participating in concurrent enrollment, causing them to test out of many general education requirements.

Those challenges exist along with the usual issues of solving all of these and unforeseen problems within the annual budget for the college.

“There seem to be several challenges as well as several opportunities,” Krutz said. “One is the budget, simply making the resources of the college to stretch to cover anything we need to cover, which can be a challenge when you’re doing as much as we are doing instructually… You get these pressures, almost sticking points that happen in particular areas… So the ebb and flow of courses being offered and programs are new and neat that CAS needs to be on the forefront of those are some of the challenges.”

Due to the broad subjects under the label of arts and sciences, the college has different challenges to face as student educational demands change. Many of the general education requirements fall under the college, so many different majors need different things out of those classes.

This is a concern of Provost Gary Sandefur.

“It is so critical for the rest of the university because most of the foundational courses, general educational courses, are in arts and sciences," Sandefur said, "so you want someone who can work well with the other dean and who takes into account not only the interest of their own college but also the other colleges in the university.

"There are all different kinds of departments. Chemistry is different than music,which is different than philosophy. You don’t have to be an expert in all of those but you do have to have an understanding and willingness to learn about these different areas.”

Even with all of these challenges, the dean of the Honors College and the chair of the search committee, Keith Garbutt, said Krutz is up for the task.

“I think his track record as an administrator in particular, the work he did at the University of Oklahoma in improving retention and graduation rates was very impressive,” Garbutt said. “As well as the work he’s done in general education, his breadth of experience across all sorts of different areas within the university as an administrator.”

As dean, Krutz will be expected to fulfill several roles.

“Really the dean is the leader of the college, they oversee everything from curriculum issues, student issues, faculty issues, the entire budget and fundraising for the college.” Mendez said. “The dean is overseeing all of that so anything that is coming in and out of the college ultimately flows through the dean’s office.”

Garbutt and Mendez both spoke about Krutz’s focus on students, a  perspective that will help him meet the expectations of the people in CAS as well as accomplish more than just maintaining the college.

“I do tend to look at the challenges and opportunities as I look at issues,” Krutz said. “Part of the idea of improving student success and faculty impact is to allow a lot of creativity to bubble up. CAS is uniquely situated to spawn creativity because we have every part of higher ed within it.”

For Krutz, the dean should be focused on what can be done to help students and faculty succeed within the college.

“Faculty impact and especially student impact and student success, I think those just need to be the throughputs that a dean and senior leadership are thinking about at the university,” Kurtz said. “We need to think about how the programs we fund, envision and roll out move the needle in terms of student success and in terms of faculty being more impactful as instructors and as researchers.”

Sandefur appointed the search committee and worked with President Burns Hargis in making the final decision. He wants Krutz to succeed and to bring the college forward into the future.

“What I would advise him to do is to take some time to get to know the college and the people in it,” Sandefur said. “Not make any big bold moves until he has a clear understanding of what’s going on, and I’m pretty sure that’s what he will do. You have to take the time to try and understand the culture and the traditions of his college but also the institution.”

It is only the beginning of Krutz’s time at OSU and while he has kept a box of his crimson and cream colors from OU, he’ll be working on his orange collection.

“It actually feels good to stake out on a new path to be honest,” Krutz said. “It feels new and exciting.”