Valerie Martin, the fourth and final candidate for dean of the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), introduced herself to students and faculty Friday afternoon. Martin has worked at Susquehanna University for 25 years and has held numerous positions, including director of bands and head of the Department of Music. Currently, Martin serves as the vice provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Susquehanna University, which highlights 18 years of her administrative experience.
As a candidate for CAL, Martin noted the importance of diversity on campus while also voicing support of NAU's mission to develop and promote inclusivity.
"NAU is intentional in speaking to its mission to support and cultivate diversity and inclusion," Martin said. "In the past several years while at Susquehanna University, I have immersed myself in the best practices in this realm and I am pleased that we have increased student diversity significantly during my time."
Martin also discussed the importance of embedding diverse perspectives and inclusivity objectives through the curriculum, campus programming and personnel work. Martin said this work relies on the ongoing engagement of the entire community.
Similarly, Martin explained the importance of structuring all work at NAU with a focus on involvement and transparency.
"My belief is that if the faculty and staff of the college are thriving, the students will have an exceptional educational experience," Martin said. "It's important to create the structures, engagement, support and focus on the individuals for whom I have responsibility to facilitate faculty engagement."
Martin elaborated that her approach allowed her to gain the trust and respect of colleagues at all levels. When it came to discussing her time as the dean of the School of Art and Sciences at Susquehanna University, Martin addressed the importance of financial support for faculty scholarship and creative activities.
"Working with the department heads, we created an easy method for faculty to request funds that leveraged my resources as well as a portion volunteered by the department heads for their faculty," Martin said. "Through this approach, I am pleased that we have continued to meet the needs of the school's faculty."
Martin also admitted that her experience has exclusively been at private universities, but she also said her experience working with the Susquehanna University board of trustees as the vice and associate provost has allowed her to represent the student body.
Additionally, Martin noted that she is confident in her experiences transferring to NAU.
"I'm excited to lead in a dean's position with a larger portfolio, where I can benefit the university with the expertise that I have accumulated through my work as a dean and by serving on a president's cabinet," Martin said.
Martin was the final candidate for dean of CAL, wrapping up the series of four candidates who have visited since the start of the semester.