Dean of Woodring College of Education Francisco Rios has decided to transition back to the role of professor in the college’s Secondary Education Department.
Rios plans to continue his role as dean through the 2016-2017 school year as Western begins its search for his replacement.
“I wanted to do what I originally came into doing in the profession,” Rios said. “I love teaching and being a professor is a great position to have. I thought this would be a great way for me to think about the last phase of my career.”
Rios took the role as dean in 2011 and he has since been helping the college move forward regarding its efforts on equality, social justice and diversity.
After Rios’s five years as dean, he is most excited for the opportunity to work with first-year students. He plans to prepare them for a higher-level education as well as discuss their possible futures in teaching.
Prior to his role as dean of Woodring, Rios had more than 30 years of experience as a professor, educator and administrator for institutions in California, Wyoming, Chile and Australia.
“[Rios] has helped us refocus and initiate several powerful programs that have helped to move our work in schools and community organizations forward,” Bruce Larson, PhD. and chair of secondary education at Woodring College of Education, said in an email. “He has helped diversify our faculty ethically, and invested greatly in helping us increasing the diversity of students.”
Receptionist of the Woodring Dean’s office, Miranda Myers Barker, was shocked to hear about Rios’s transition from dean to faculty member.
“I was sad for myself because I work closely with him – but I think it’s really great for him because he gets to do something he loves to do, without the weight of being dean and having to make all the decisions,” Barker said.
Rios helped Woodring maintain its status as one of the most astounding college programs in the state and along the way helped diversify and unite the community, according to Western Today.
“It’s our outstanding students, faculty and staff that have really had the biggest impact on both the college and the university,” Rios said. “It’s been really a great opportunity for me to be in the position of dean and really just be a facilitator of the great ideas, visions and hard-working students, faculty and staff.”
The role of the dean at Woodring College consists of providing academic and administrative leadership to the faculty, staff and students while reporting directly to the provost on issues involving the college’s secondary education program, along with serving on the university’s Council of Deans.
The college and university will begin its national search for a new dean to take over next year.
A search committee will form over the summer to fill Rios’s position. Once fall quarter begins, the committee will actively engage in the search, Rios said.
Applications will be reviewed during winter quarter and the interviewing process is scheduled to begin spring quarter.