College of Liberal Arts welcomes new dean

New CLA dean sees opportunity in TU's growth

TOWSON, Md. (March 31, 2006)—Terry Cooney, TU’s next dean of the College of Liberal Arts, says he’s excited about coming to TU as it undergoes a period of dramatic growth.

Terry Cooney

“It’s clearly a time of change and real vitality at Towson University,” Cooney says. “Some might find that intimidating but I see it as an opportunity.”

Cooney, who will take his post as dean in July, has been a faculty member at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) for 30 years.  From 1997 to 2004 he served as academic vice president and dean of the university, a private institution located in Tacoma, Wash., that enrolls about 3,000 students. He says that Puget Sound, like Towson University, has focused considerably in recent years on refining its identity; UPS began the first phrase of its 20-year master plan in 2003.

“It’s important that TU’s administration is seriously engaged in dealing with issues such as its growth rate,” Cooney says. “But there are also opportunities that come with the need to grow. For instance, adding more faculty members will better allow TU to respond to students’ general education requirements.”

Cooney says he’s impressed by TU’s positive efforts at building relationships with the Baltimore community. He notes that as a metropolitan university, TU presents an ideal environment for its colleges to work more closely together.

“I’m eager to talk further with the other deans and with the programs across the university about ways we can function as part of a cohesive whole–the way students think of the university–and not just as autonomous units,” he says.

He also admires how well TU’s faculty has been coping with space and personnel issues–challenges that go beyond their full-time responsibilities to teaching and research.

“The Towson faculty members I’ve met so far were almost 100 percent positive about the institution – and each other,” he says.

“That spirit of taking on these kinds of challenges and doing so in a positive way was impressive and important to me.”

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