Friends University’s new Graduate School dean plans to spend much of his early days with his ear to the ground.
“During my interview, I was asked about the first 100 days as the dean, and my response was to conduct a listening tour,” said Dr. David Hofmeister. “Consequently, I will start in July with questions in hand to get to know the very important people I serve and with whom I work.”
Dr. Hofmeister comes to Friends University from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., where he was chairman of the division of education and a tenured professor. He has spent more than 20 years educating future educators throughout the state of Kansas.
Dr. Hofmeister will use the conversations from his listening tour as the basis from which the University’s strategic plan will be realized.
“As we know, the Graduate School is and will continue to grow as a significant organization to provide students excellent programs, networks for professional and personal growth, and superior learning experiences through our dedicated, committed faculty, staff, graduates and community members,” he said.
Dr. Darcy Zabel, interim vice president of Academic Affairs at Friends University, said she believes Dr. Hofmeister will be a strong asset to the University.
“His experience with program accreditation, new program development, and program growth and innovation will help our Graduate School advance new strategic initiatives set by the Board of Trustees and President T.J. Arant this fall,” she said.
Dr. Hofmeister was drawn to Friends University, he said, simply “because it’s Friends University.” He finds the University’s mission and vision attractive.
“The graduate faculty have the right programs for today and tomorrow,” he said. “The leadership has committed to a strategic plan. I know enough to say the forthcoming directions for Friends are very exciting, very purposeful, and I know that as we grow through the plan, we will serve students even better.”
For more than two decades, Dr. Hofmeister has been committed to students and has helped grow programs to serve those students.
“I have studied and worked to create and maintain culturally and ethnically diverse organizations. Inclusive, intentional opportunities are mainstays in my values and workday. So, I have learned and continue to learn when to clear the way, to push, to pull, or watch because the accomplishments of others are realized, and I need to be there to applaud them,” he said.