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Three questions for Jason Janke

Janke will serve as interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

By Lindsey Coulter

August 3, 2020

Jason JankeJason Janke, Ph.D., will serve as interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Janke has served as associate dean since 2016 and concurrently was a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He first joined Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2006 as an assistant professor, prior to which he was an assistant professor of geography and geology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Janke earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Valparaiso University, a master’s degree in geography from Indiana State University and a doctorate in geography from the University of Colorado Boulder. His research focuses on carbon dioxide and nutrient production in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as measurement of frozen ground properties in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Janke spoke with the Early Bird about taking the CLAS helm:

How did your role as associate dean prepare you to lead CLAS?

Throughout my career in higher education, I have gained valuable experience and insight as both a tenured faculty member and an academic administrator. As an associate dean, I’ve discovered the nuances of the college and how the intricate network of administrators, faculty and staff work together to serve our students. Student-centered principles common to all of us have shaped and will continue to shape and define the mission and vision of CLAS.

What are your goals for your tenure as interim dean?

These are unusual, unprecedented times for higher education. Faculty are working tirelessly to convert their courses to online delivery modes, while others are adopting safety measures for in-person instruction. My first goal is to ensure that the transition to this new environment is as seamless as possible so that we continue to deliver high-quality, enriching courses for our students. I will do whatever I can to help CLAS adjust to what appears to be the new normal in higher education. We must continue to build on what has been established, while also planning for the future.

Why are you excited to serve in this role?

As faculty and an administrator, I am driven by student success at all stages of the student life cycle. Since my undergraduate education, which was influenced by student-centered faculty at a teaching University, I have been a dedicated advocate to a liberal-arts education. Its interdisciplinary nature and its importance in establishing lifelong skills and multifaceted approaches to problem-solving are the foundation of CLAS. I am excited about the opportunity to advance our mission in the role of interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Topics: Academics, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Inclusive leadership

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