Saturday, May 28, 2011

After a Long Time Away from Blogging

Artist's rendition of the new campus, to be ready in 2014
It's been more than two years since I posted anything here. Lots of changes since then. I resigned as pastor of The Bridge in the latter part of 2009, and I entered the field of Malaysian higher education in January 2010. 

First, I trained lecturers through the Teaching & Learning Centre of KDU College. Along with the training came opportunities to teach US History, Sociology, and English at the college. Then, after nine months teaching and training, I was invited to take up the post of Head (Dean) of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at KDU. I've been in this position now since Oct 1, 2010. It's been quite a challenge -- a big change with a steep learning curve -- but I am enjoying it. I'm responsible for the health and growth of the school: for 30 lecturers, 3 admin staff, about 650 students, and a new campus that includes our Law School, Business Dept, and American Degree Program.

What's a 'University College'?
In September last year, the college received from the government the status of 'University College' (UC), an intermediate step toward becoming a full university. Here in Malaysia, colleges award their own pre-U certificates and 2-year diplomas, but degrees in the college are awarded by foreign partner universities in the UK and Australia (like U of Manchester in England or Murdoch U in Perth, Australia). As a UC, KDU can start offering its own bachelors and masters degrees. And we will begin doing so this year. Another difference between colleges and universities is that universities emphasize and do research as well as teaching. So it's a pivotal time in the almost 30-year history of the institution.

Pastoral Care
An interesting aside: I discovered that the term 'pastoral care' is used here to describe the guidance and help students receive while in college or university. That is one term I'm familiar with.

More news later: an update on Jeni and the girls. Btw, we can all be found on Facebook. I suppose that's one reason I haven't blogged much the last two years, except for work-related posts on educational sites.

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