Robin Bowen, vice president of academic affairs, has started off with a great semester. This will be her second semester at Washburn, for which she feels very fortunate. While she has worked at schools both large and small, Bowen thinks Washburn is the perfect size to accommodate everyone.
“There’s a unique energy that I’ve found at Washburn that I’ve not found at other institutions,” said Bowen.
Bowen has been staying very busy, with her schedule booked up to two weeks in advance. Her administrative assistant, Wanda Hinton, does an excellent job at keeping the meetings straight. Though working with such tight scheduling keeps her busy, Hinton loves working with Bowen.
“It’s been wonderful,” said Hinton. “[Bowen] is a very great person and she’s also gracious and caring.”
One of the initiatives Bowen has been busy with is the report for the Higher Learning Commission to keep Washburn accredited, due in May. She is not worried about Washburn failing to meet those requirements, but it still commands a lot of time.
Another is the reworking of the general education program. Earlier this year faculty members attended meetings where different models of general education were presented. Dinners will be held later in the year for larger groups of faculty to either flush out a new general education model or continue with the old one.
“It’s core to a Washburn student and different characteristics that a graduate has,” said Bowen. “What do we want our graduates to be known for?”
Another initiative Bowen is working on is perfecting the Transformational Experience. Students choose an experience, whether it be research with a teacher or traveling abroad, and present it as part of the curriculum at Washburn. She hopes it will benefit every student in his or her career or in graduate school.
“The university helps support them in that,” said Bowen. “This is atypical and really should be something we’re proud of.”
Bowen wants to make sure that when a student graduates, a potential employer will think positively of his or her degree from Washburn.
“We do that now, but we can do that even better,” said Bowen.
Due to her recent move to the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center, Bowen has had to make some slight changes. While she loves the new offices, she misses the frequency of seeing more students on a regular basis.
“I do miss the interactions I had with the faculty and the students I had over at Morgan,” said Bowen.