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December 19, 2014

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Education faculty’s focus on future, not funding, helped lure new dean to UNLV

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Leila Navidi

Dr. Kim Metcalf the new dean of the UNLV College of Education photographed on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Kim Metcalf takes the helm of UNLV's College of Education in the aftermath of a devastating recession that forced the university to cut staff and programs.

Since the recession, UNLV's education college lost more than 60 percent of its funding. Its six departments were slashed to three. The faculty, which once numbered 110, was whittled to 80.

Metcalf, who interviewed at two other colleges of education in the past two years, said he was struck by how UNLV's faculty remained focused on the future in spite of the budget cuts and falling morale.

At other universities, the education faculty argued the new dean would help the education college "get back all the resources they lost," Metcalf said.

However, at UNLV, Metcalf was impressed education faculty members were forward-thinking and more focused on choosing a dean "who will help us go from where we are to where we could be."

Metcalf said it was one of the main reasons he chose to come to UNLV.

"Interim dean William Spears and this faculty worked through some incredibly difficult decisions and difficult times," Metcalf said. "We don't have the resources that we need or would like to have, but it feels as if we've at least hit bottom and instead of worrying about how much worse things can get, we can begin looking forward."

Before starting at UNLV this month, Metcalf was director of institutional research and planning at the University of West Georgia, where he had been dean of the College of Education from 2008 to 2012. Previously, he was the director of the Indiana Center for Evaluation and served as an associate superintendent of research and development for Bloomington, Ind., public schools.

Metcalf, who is the author of “The Act of Teaching,” earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University in teacher education and educational research and evaluation. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Ball State University

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