Leaders, then and now
Monday, January 25, 2010
Robert O. Bess
Former colleagues and friends of Robert O. Bess paid tribute at a memorial service Aug. 26 in the Ritsche Auditorium lobby. He died this past July in Sacramento at age 74.
During his tenure, Bess built significant partnerships on campus and in the community, earning a reputation as a fair and involved president. He was dedicated to providing equal opportunity and enriching experiences for students. The University established the American Indian Center and signed an agreement with members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan ending their 1995 Hunger Strike. The partnerships student organizations have developed with administrators date back to that agreement.
Perhaps Bess’s most enduring legacy is opportunities for international education, particularly in exchanges with colleges in South Africa. He launched a program in 1995 and after retirement served as consultant for the South Africa Initiative of St. Cloud State University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University,
The Robert O. Bess Fellowship was established through the SCSU Foundation to recognize his accomplishments and to help make the dream of giving greater numbers of multicultural students the chance to visit South Africa.
When George Budd left St. Cloud State College in 1965 to become president of Pittsburg State University in Kansas, he described the momentous changes that had taken place during his 13-year presidency: “Things were quiet and comfortable for a few years. Then World War II babies got to be of college age and things began to pop. The campus was no longer quiet. But it was exciting
During those years, St. Cloud State enrollment jumped from 1,200 to 5,200 students a year. Three new residence halls were built and Garvey Commons opened. Kiehle Visual Arts Center, Whitney House, Engineering and Computing Center, and Brown, Headley and Halenbeck halls were added to serve the growing campus population.
In 1954 St. Cloud State’s first graduate program, a master of science in education program, was listed in the course catalog. In 1962, instructional divisions were replaced with the School of Education, School of Business and Industrial Arts and School of Literature and Arts. Laying the groundwork for international studies, Budd participated in study visits to five European countries in 1959 and lead a U.S. Department of States Higher Education Study Team to India in 1963.
Todd DeVriese, experienced professor, administrator and practitioner of fine art, became dean of St. Cloud State’s College of Fine Arts and Humanities in July.
DeVriese had been director of the School of Art and professor of art at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. Previously he had been an associate professor of art at The Ohio State University and interim dean for the Arts and Sciences and a department chair at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. His artwork, particularly in printmaking, has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He earned a bachelor in fine arts and a master’s degree in science from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in fine arts from The Ohio State University.
As dean, he is responsible for the recruitment, development and evaluation of faculty and staff and undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 20 disciplines within departments of Music; Theater, Film Studies and Dance; English; Foreign Languages and Literature; Philosophy; Communication Disorders; Communication Studies and Mass Communication.
Glen Palm, professor and three-time chair in the Department of Child and Family Studies, as well as a noted expert in the field of parent education, was named interim dean of the College of Education in July.
Palm, who joined his department in 1983 as an assistant professor, initiated the college’s Parent Education licensure program two years later. He has provided parent education services for St. Cloud School District 742 and District 47 since 1984, including Saturday morning programming for fathers and their young children. He also has led parenting classes in the St. Cloud Correctional facility since 1995 and been involved with the Greater St. Cloud Area Thrive Initiative, an infant mental health collaborative project with District 47 Early Childhood Family Education Program.
As interim dean, he oversees the departments of Child and Family Studies, Counselor Education and Educational Psychology, Educational Leadership and Community Psychology, Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport Science, Human Relations and Multicultural Education; Special Education; and Teacher Development.
Palm replaces Kate Steffens, who stepped down to take a position at Walden University as dean of its Riley College of Education and Leadership.