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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Dean search open forums conclude with third candidate

Photo by David Cohen
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko speaks at an open forum on Wednesday discussing future goals if he is to be chosen as dean of the College of Education and Human Development.   
 
Photo by David Cohen Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko speaks at an open forum on Wednesday discussing future goals if he is to be chosen as dean of the College of Education and Human Development.     

The public forum portion of the search for a new dean in the College of Education and Human Development concluded Wednesday as the third and final candidate for the position, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, took his turn at the podium.
Chodzko-Zajko received his education at the Institute of Education in his childhood home of London and earned a doctorate degree in exercise science from Purdue University in Indiana. He serves as the head of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Chodzko-Zajko arrived on campus Tuesday and received a full tour of the university, before he took his turn holding an open forum for faculty and students to hear his ideas and plans should he ultimately be chosen.
Chodzko-Zajko was born in Poland and grew up and went to school in London. His experience in the English school system presented him with one of his life’s earliest challenges. He said the experience has helped him see the importance of diversity in public education systems.
“I grew up in a bilingual home, but I spoke no English on my first day of school,” Chodzko-Zajko said. “My children now speak Portuguese and live in an increasingly diverse world.”
Events in Chodzko-Zajko’s life, including beginning his educational career as a teacher at an inner-city London school, have led to experience that has proven vital at every stop in his career, he said. Now, he is excited to possibly test these skills with a job in Aggieland.
“It’s a significant honor to be considered for the position of Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M,” Chodzko-Zajko said. “Texas A&M is a world-class university that has both a land grant mission and a global reach.”
Those in charge of the search must consider many qualities when looking for potential candidates from across the nation.
Allied health freshman Catherine Roper said passion for the subject is a vital component for the candidates.
“We should look for a candidate that is not only extremely passionate about education and human development nationwide, but who also possesses a zeal for helping other, particularly college students, realize their own potential and passion for education and humanity,” Roper said.
Even if he is not selected for the job, Chodzko-Zajko said he agrees with these sentiments.
“Research universities should challenge themselves to examine the role they play in shaping the future of the state, nation and world,” Chodzko-Zajko said. “One of the most exciting things about this job, and one of the main reasons that I decided apply for it, is that Texas A&M is embarking on precisely such a challenge.”
Lynn Burlbaw, professor of teaching, learning and culture, was one of the faculty members and students in attendance Wednesday. Burlbaw said he has come away from the open forums confident the search has presented three candidates qualified for the job.
“I believe that this search has produced better candidates than the last one,” Burlbaw said. “Any one of these three could lead the college in some capacity — I’m not sure who the best one is.”

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