Royce “Hank” Dasinger was recently named the dean of the College of Education, and he aims to create a “valued” culture, provide educational resources for students and form connections with local schools.
“We are in the business of preparing our students to go out so they can make a difference in other people’s lives,” Dasinger said.
In addition to the goals he seeks to achieve, Dasinger will oversee the departments of teacher education, leadership development and professional studies, counseling, rehabilitation, psychology and interpreter training, which fall within the College of Education.
“We have a counseling program, so we educate and train our counselors to go out and help people navigate complex life issues so that they can increase their capacity and become happier,” Dasinger said.
Dasinger’s most recent position was president of Ingram State Technical College, a postsecondary public two-year institution in the state of Alabama that offers technical skills and educational programs to incarcerated adults.
Dasinger said that he plans on pulling from his experiences to help him in his new role.
“One of my responsibilities as a leader that I bring from my previous work is how vitally important it is for me to create a culture in our organization at our college where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are, and to create an environment within which they can achieve their maximum potential.”
Dasinger said that he believes faculty should build relationships with students to help them succeed.
“It starts in the classroom,” Dasinger said. “When our students walk in the classroom, it’s about the relationships between that faculty member and those students, and those ought to be quality relationships.”
An open educational resource concept, or OER, is being looked into according to Dasinger. The OER would provide students with educational resources for free since students have to pay for comprehensive examinations.
“What I don’t want us to do is put additional burdens on the student that’ll make it harder,” Dasinger said. “There are tests they have to pay for, so one of the things I’m asking our faculty to look at is this open educational resource concept.”
Haley Mixon, a senior special education major from Deatsville, said she would appreciate the open education resource concept.
“I really hope the new dean will look into the open education resource concept because I think it would be really great to help students with the financial burden of textbooks and help them out there,” Mixon said.
Along with exploring the educational resource concept, Dasinger also wants to build relations with local school systems.
“I would like for us to strengthen our partnerships with school systems,” Dasinger said. “We would start with Troy city schools and Pike County schools so that we can take the best practices that we know here as an educational institution and practice them in the local school system so that the local school system can take advantage of the innovative, creative things that our faculty and staff know to do.”
Mixon said she thinks it would be great to continue building relationships, and she hopes the new dean will assist student needs.
“I think it would be great to see faculty and students to continue to build relationships with one another because it helps a lot getting through college,” Mixon said. “I hope the new dean will be hands-on with students and help them with whatever they need.”
Dasinger said that he wants to start with small tasks and build up to big tasks.
“I want us to take a hard look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and make sure that that ‘what’ and ‘how’ lines up with why we exist,” Dasinger said.
Renee Stadler, a freshman elementary education major from San Antonio, Texas, said that she was glad to have a dean who seemed to really care about everyone in the department.
“My hopes for the new dean are that he will continue to grow the education program and continue to give education majors great opportunities to do what they love and enrich the young minds of the future,” Stadler said.
Stadler said that since she is a freshman, she is excited to have Dasinger as her dean for the next four years and see what improvement he’ll make in the department.
“I hope that he will help by being easy to talk to if we have problems or that he can give us good advice to help us succeed,” Stadler said.
Stadler said she hopes Dasinger will help her grow as a future teacher.
“We’re preparing teachers to go out,” Dasinger said. “They’re going to teach people to be smarter in any number of things. To understand, to grow, to develop.”