Wright Named Dean of College of Education
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG - 05/31/2007 - Bringing 22 years of college and university experience and a wealth of technology education know-how to his new post, Michael D. Wright has been named dean of the College of Education at the UCM.
Served as Interim Dean during Reogranization
Dr. Michael D. Wright
Wright joined the university in 1999, and became interim dean Jan. 2, 2007 after academic restructuring created two colleges out of the former College of Education and Human Services.
George Wilson, UCM provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, announced the dean appointment, noting, "Dr. Wright has demonstrated exceptional leadership as interim dean of the College of Education, and I look forward to his continued service."
Identifying Opportunities for Growth and New Resources
Colleagues describe Wright as a visionary leader who likes to "think outside the box." As dean, he hopes to identify opportunities for growth and new resources for the college, and inspire his colleagues to strive for excellence.
"I am excited about the opportunities the new college structure presents and the focus it places on teacher education. Many of the freshmen entering our programs this fall will still be employed in the public schools in the year 2040. We need to prepare them for teaching students in a world we can't yet even imagine," Wright said. "I want to build on the outstanding reputation and strength of the College of Education faculty, students, alumni, and facilities to achieve new levels of excellence."
Developed Missouri Center for Career Education
Wright's eight-year history with UCM includes serving as chair of the Department of Career and Technology Education and professor of technology education, a department he created. In 2002, he also conceptualized and founded the Missouri Center for Career Education and served as its director and co-director the next four years.
Coordinated Technology and Occupational Education
From 1999-2002, Wright served as coordinator of Technology and Occupational Education and associate professor of education, responsible for all technology education and career and technical education programs on campus. He created the Missouri Center for Technology Education in 2000 to promote technological literacy in teacher education, kindergarten through college. Wright became director of the New Teacher Institute, and the Career and Technical Educators' Professional Development Center in 1996.
Partnerships Have Benefited UCM
Throughout his tenure at UCM, Wright has pursued external funding which has benefited the institution at times of declining state support. During the past seven years, he has entered partnerships and other external agreements that have resulted in more than $7 million in grants and contracts to benefit the institution.
In addition to his service to UCM, Wright has also held teaching or administrative posts at the University of Missouri-Columbia; Montana State University, Bozeman; Mankato State University, Mankato, MN; Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH; Lima Technical College, Lima, OH; University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
His educational background includes a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Vocational and Technical Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Master of Education in Vocational and Technical Education degree from the University of Illinois; and Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from the University of Washington, Seattle.