Towson University Faculty/Staff News • May 5, 2004

Talking upTowson

New dean's good impressions based on visits, colleagues' endorsements    


Raymond P. Lorion, recently appointed dean of the College of Education, says encouragement from other distinguished educators influenced his decision to come to TU.

Lorion, professor of education in the University of Pennsylvania's Psychology in Education Division, says he liked what he saw here, including the College of Education faculty's strong commitment to the profession and to students, as well as the leadership of acting dean Tom Proffitt and other top administrators.

“The College of Education faculty and staff take great pride in their work,” he adds. “They're very enthusiastic about what they're doing and very optimistic about where they're going.”

Lorion pointed to the College of Education's extensive Professional Development School network, its unique Towson Learning Network and the “unprecedented” Teacher Education Executive Board as further evidence of dedication to the highest quality teacher preparation.  

He also praised President Robert L. Caret's and Provost James F. Brennan's “unlimited enthusiasm” for both the College of Education and the university as a whole. "I thought, 'This is a position I'd like to obtain,'" he says.

But he also took time to consult some colleagues about this unusual opportunity to lead the college that produces so many of Maryland's classroom teachers.

As a former member of the University of Maryland, College Park faculty, he knew USM Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Irwin Goldstein would be available to talk to him. “Both expressed enthusiasm for the quality and the future of the institution,” he says. “They urged me to pursue it.”  

As did Seymour Sarason, professor emeritus of psychology at Yale, who told Lorion the dean's position at TU “was the best in the country if you want to influence the course of higher education. We talked about how I wanted to help teachers respond to students' behavioral and emotional challenges as a way to reduce obstacles to effective learning,” he says. “And he told me I'd never get a better chance than this.”

Lorion, who assumes the dean's post July 1, says he's prepared for challenges.

“Of course there will be challenges.” he says. “My sense is that the leadership of the college and the university are clearly committed to helping me learn what I need to learn to sustain all that is going well and to work with the faculty to achieve our potential.”

And, considering what he's heard, his confidence is well founded.

“Everybody I've spoken to has been extraordinarily complimentary about Towson,” he says.


Story by Jan Lucas/Photo courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

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