Dr. Laura Behling has been named as the replacement for outgoing Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde, as announced in a campus-wide email from President Teresa Amott on Wednesday.
Behling is a former professor of literature who is currently serving as associate provost for faculty affairs at Butler University. Other places she has taught include Gustavus Adolphus College and Palacky University in the Czech Republic, at which she received a Fulbright to teach.
Her bachelor’s in English came from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and was followed by a master’s degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from the Claremont Graduate School.
In addition, she also holds a degree from the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Some of her published works include “Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862”, about the Civil War and “Reading, Writing, and Research: Undergraduate Students as Scholars in Literary Studies.”
Of great appeal to her about Knox is the opportunity to return to the small, intimate style of education she left when she departed from Gustavus Adolphus.
At her recent open forum she described the importance of continuous faculty development, saying, “Even though they have been in school forever, faculty still need training and new ideas, so that’s what I would really work to do.”
Also of importance to her was integrating technology into the classroom, though she acknowledged the inherent limitations it faces in contrast with face-to-face discussions.
The selection was made by a Dean Search Committee under the leadership of Associate Professor of History Konrad Hamilton. Some of the criteria the committee used to select Behling included administrative experience, the candidate’s philosophy, a personality conducive to dealing with the stresses of the position, educational background and research and ability to work with faculty.
The consulting firm Issacson, Miller advised the committee during the process. The same firm was also used in the selection of Amott as president.
Breitborde will step down on June 30 and plans to go on sabbatical for a year before returning to campus and teaching anthropology.