Newman University School of Arts and Sciences has a new dean.
Lori Steiner, associate professor of mathematics and director of institutional research, will begin her new role as dean Jan. 1, 2020.
Steiner came to Newman University as an adjunct professor in 1999. She became a permanent member of the faculty in 2001 as mathematics instructor, assistant professor in 2004 and associate professor in 2008.
Steiner also served as the Math Center director from 2004-2008.
In 2015, she became the director of institutional research while continuing to teach one course per semester.
Steiner earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Wichita State University in 1981, a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of Kansas in 1983 and a Ph.D. in adult education from Kansas State University in 2007.
Kim Long, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “Dr. Steiner is a well-respected member of the faculty who brings a deep understanding of teaching, a passion for information, compassion for her colleagues and a clear love of Newman University.
“She is an accomplished scholar and administrator who deftly balances the challenges of shared governance and transparency with great attention to detail. She is a person of great integrity, and I am delighted to welcome her as our newest dean.”
Steiner said she is looking forward to working across all departments, working together to go above and beyond in regards to student success.
She mentioned the need for more “spaces for students that would be conducive to teaching and learning and engaging with faculty outside the classroom,” using the Bishop Gerber Science Center as an example.
“A lot of what happens on the second floor of the Gerber science building, just that great space which allows students and faculty to come together and learn and imagine and discuss. We have too few of those spaces,” Steiner explained.
Steiner stressed the importance of refreshing curriculum for each class and understanding what employers need so the education happening in the classroom fits with the needs of today’s workforce.
She said her vision also includes the future workforce.
“We (also) have to ask ourselves, ‘Are we preparing our students for that unknown future (in which) certain jobs don’t exist right now?’ And so the critical thinking skills that the liberal arts and sciences provide can really prepare students for that unknown future.”
Steiner is excited to begin her newest journey with Newman and felt honored to be in the company of other great candidates.
“The other candidates are excellent. And as I told them, I would have been pleased with any one of them becoming dean. I think all of us feel like we want to serve the institution in this capacity. We want to help move it forward.”
Long added, “I have every confidence that she will work collaboratively with her colleagues at every level to help make Newman an even better place to learn, teach, work, and grow.”