After announcing her resignation from the post of Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (COAL) at Missouri State University, KSMU's Randy Stewart spoke with Dr. Adele Newson-Horst about her decision to resign the Dean's job, and what she'll be doing at MSU starting next fall.
I'm Randy Stewart for KSMU, continuing my conversation with Dr.Adele Newson-Horst, current Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Missouri State University. She announced last week she would be resigning from that post at the end of May. Later in this report we'll have an update on what Dr. Newson-Horst will be doing here at Missouri State starting next fall, but first we talked about the College of Arts and Letters, and about several events coming up on campus this semester.
RANDY: The College of Arts and Letters is a very important factor in Missouri State University's statewide mission in public affairs.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Yes, and we do that with instructional advancements; extraordinary faculty; and programs that serve the public good. "Art in Public Spaces" is a campaign to educate the community about the way in which art enhances our everyday lives. And we're going to do a program on April 12th with OTC, Drury, the Arts Council, called "A Day Without Art," with a lot of neat things that will be happening all across the city.
RANDY: Basically showing people what their lives would be like without art.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Exactly. You know, every day before the ice storm we would walk around campus and NOT notice the trees!
RANDY: Right, well, we sure notice that they're not there!
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Yeah, and it's the same kind of experience that we're after.
RANDY: That'll be on April the 12th. The College of Arts and Letters was also very much involved with the reopening of the Gillioz Theatre, through the Encore Program.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Right, and it continues.
RANDY: You're listed as a member of the English faculty.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: I certainly am--I'm very proud of that.
RANDY: But you haven't been able to teach any classes so far?
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Not yet; right now I'm focusing in on the College (of Arts and Letters) itself and some of the challenges we have. But I'm not teaching right now. (However) I developed a new Honors course for English. It's called "Growing Up Female." It includes writers such as Maya Angelou, and Nawal El-Saadawi, who is an Egyptian physician--she wrote "Women At Point Zero." COAL (College of Arts and Letters) is bringing Dr. El-Saadawi here on April 17th to launch the Public Affairs Conference. It's at 6:00, and it's called "Voices from the Middle East."
RANDY: And that'll be April the 17th. Do you miss the classroom work?
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Oh, definitely. I love teaching, and I love teaching literature. The English classroom is a great place to explore ideas.
RANDY: So what else is happening in the College of Arts and Letters?
DR. NEWSON-HORST: This year we spent a lot of time articulating those wonderful things we do in support of the Public Affairs mission: we have the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, and so we get students from all over the state who come in for three weeks and have an amazing instructional experience that's multi-disciplinary; we work with the Gillioz; we have "Project Odyssey"--
RANDY: Sort of a lecture program.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Yeah, that allows an issue to be considered from multiple aspects. We have a team coming from Auburn University, here for three weeks, administrators and faculty from (their) College of Arts and Letters They're coming down to learn how to the Public Affairs mission
--from us! So we're especially proud of that.
RANDY: A week or so after I conducted this interview with Dr.Newson-Horst, it was announced that she was resigning as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters effective May 30. She will take a paid leave of absence this summer to prepare for her reassignment in the fall of 2007, with duties including doing the teaching she loves so much, and various academic-related administrative responsibilities directed by the Provost's office. Last week I contacted Dr. Newson-Horst by phone so she could comment on these changes. For one thing, she herself will teach the "Growing Up Female" course she developed for the Honors College.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Yeah, I wrote the course specifically to teach it (myself). With the workload in the Dean's office it didn't look like I'd be able to. Now it does. I'm really happy about that.
RANDY: Will you also be doing some work with the Provost's office?
DR. NEWSON-HORST: I'll be continuing to work on the arts projects, such as "A Day Without Art," and the new Greenwood Parkside Magnet School for the Arts.
RANDY: So the University will certainly keep you busy.
DR. NEWSON-HORST: That's certainly true!
RANDY: Not, maybe, as busy as the OTHER job, but....
DR. NEWSON-HORST: Right--which I absolutely adored, but right now I'm not in a position to do as much in that area as I had hoped.
RANDY: Dr. Adele Newson-Horst. Missouri State President Dr.Mike Nietzel has said the university will begin immediately to identify a successor to Dr. Newson-Horst as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.