Friday, September 04, 2015

[075] Boyle transitions from University College dean to faculty post

Steps down after decade of leadership on adult learner programs

MURFREESBORO — Mike Boyle has enjoyed his 10 years of leading MTSU’s University College and its push to reach out to adult learners, but for a while now he’s known that it was time to begin that next career chapter in higher education.

“You know when it’s time,” said Boyle, who decided to step down as dean of University College. “You can just feel it.”

To celebrate Boyle’s leadership as dean as he prepares a transition back to the classroom as an MTSU faculty member, University Provost Brad Bartel hosted a recent reception at the Tom H. Jackson Building attended by Boyle’s wife, Connie, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and a host of colleagues and friends.

Boyle's official last day as dean was Monday, Aug. 31.

“Mike has served this university with great administrative skill over the last decade,” said Bartel, noting that Boyle was the senior dean among the top college administrators. “One of the major accomplishments has been placing MTSU as the state leader in adult learning. He has also presided over our expansion of distance education, the establishment of the campus center in Shelbyville, and the success of our University Studies department.”

When Boyle came to MTSU from the University of Louisville a decade ago, he took over a department that had been led by Rosemary Owens, who is now a coordinator in the Office of Community Engagement and Support. Boyle led the department’s transition to a college focused on supporting and attracting older students through flexible courses, online offerings and customized degree programs.

McPhee praised Boyle for elevating University College’s profile across the Tennessee Board of Regents, the state of Tennessee and even nationally. The Adult Degree Completion Program at MTSU is the largest in the state.

“MTSU is the unquestioned leader in addressing the areas of nontraditional students,” McPhee said. “We will certainly continue to benefit from the great work you’ve done.”

Boyle recalled a leadership course while completing his master’s degree where his instructor boiled down leadership theories to two things: “If you’ve got a good idea and you take care of your people, you will be successful.”

“I think we’ve done that. … It wasn’t me, it was all of these people,” Boyle said, glancing around Cantrell Hall at those he’s worked with over the years. “I hope that I have left as good of a foundation as Rosemary left me.”

Bartel has appointed University College Associate Dean David Gotcher as the interim dean. A national search will be for a permanent dean this academic year.

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