As you know, during the 2015-16 academic year we invested time and resources to better understand how Marian University can respond more resolutely to the need to prepare and develop preK-12 educators (teachers, principals and others) for the children in our schools and community. We pursued this study out of a profound sense of mission, fidelity to our Franciscan values, and our vision to prepare transformational leaders. Furthermore, one of our nation’s most profound needs in the 21st century is to better educate a larger percent of our population at a higher level of competency. The research is clear, the most important variable in advancing student performance is having enough quality educators available for our schools.
This study has been exhaustive and enlightening. Most importantly, it has pointed to a need for schools of education to make bold moves to design new approaches in preparing and developing educators who can meet the challenging needs of the diverse population of students in our communities. The study also highlighted the deep commitment of the Marian University community to the mission of teaching and learning excellence, as well as the many outstanding accomplishments of our graduates in the field of education. It is also clear that Marian’s history and tradition established by the Sisters of St. Francis calls us to venture forward boldly to meet the needs of our time. Simply stated, our Franciscan values, vision, record of accomplishments, and the need for change illumined by this study calls us to act in meeting this need.
In moving from this study to action, we created four task forces:
1.Curriculum and clinical partnership under the direction of Dr. Saib Othman;
2.Organization structure, personnel, and the strategy for position searches under the direction of Dr. Enneking and me;
3.Resource development, marketing and communication, and funding partners under the direction of Dr. Ken Britt; and,
4.Financial oversight, technology, and facility needs under the direction of Greg Ginder.
We asked each task force to work with the idea that Marian University will earn a national reputation of preparing and developing preK-12 educators who achieve outstanding results with their students and the communities they serve. Meetings have been held with potential funders (national and local), and expert educational leaders have been consulted about how we would recruit a successful, highly talented, and deeply committed dean to lead this project. Given the boldness of this vision and the urgency to move this project forward there is an eminent need to have an exceptional leader in place to advance this most important project.
The leadership qualities/skills we see as most important in this effort are:
1.A record of successful leadership in preK-12 education;
2.An unflagging commitment to Marian University and the mission and success of this project;
4.Successful experience in garnering financial resources for a bold vision;
5.Extensive leadership capabilities;
6.Ability to unite and guide the faculty, staff and students to bold change; and,
7.The flexibility, if at all possible, to immediately assume this role.
Kenith C. Britt, Ph.D. We quickly came to the conclusion that this talented individual is already a member of the Marian University community, Kenith Britt, Ph.D. Dr. Britt, at every step in his professional career, has been highly successful in meeting the criteria we established. Given that assessment, I have asked Dr. Britt to take on the role of senior vice president of teacher learning excellence and dean of the Educators College. He has accepted, and we are thrilled with his enthusiastic response. Dr. Britt came to Marian University three years ago with a wealth of education experience, having served as a high school teacher, the principal of a K-8 school, and the president of two Catholic schools systems. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at four institutions of higher education. We have complete confidence that Dr. Britt is a perfect fit. Because leadership is so very critical to the success of a bold project like this, now is the time for him to make the move to this new position.
It is also critical to ensure that our overall fundraising efforts stay on target. With this in mind, we have asked John Finke, vice president for Institutional Advancement, who has a highly experienced and successful fundraising track record, to take on some management roles in addition to his current duties. I, along with colleagues, Greg Ginder and Deb Lawrence, will give assistance with the financial and engagement aspects as we begin the search for a lead agent of our institution’s comprehensive advancement effort. Dr. Britt will retain a central role in securing the funds necessary to bring to fruition the Educators College vision. A more permanent search for Dr. Britt’s replacement will begin immediately.
Please keep Dr. Britt and all involved in this effort in your prayers. The Educators College will make a major and mighty contribution to our vision of preparing transformational leaders for service to the world and fully living our Franciscan values.
Thank you all for what you do, and your unflagging commitment to the vision, mission and values of Marian University!
President Daniel J. Elsener and Provost Thomas Enneking, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Educational Leadership. The Catholic University of America, Washington, District of Columbia.
M.A. Leadership Studies. Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia.
B.A. (Cum Laude) Elementary Education, Minor in Mathematics. West Liberty University, West Liberty, West Virginia.
HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCE
Senior Vice President of Advancement, Marian University, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Prior Faculty Appointments
Adjunct Faculty, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio. Classes taught: Public Relations for School Leaders, Public Relations for Catholic School Leaders, Leadership for Diverse Communities for Catholic Educators, and Catholic School Curriculum.
Adjunct Faculty, Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio. Class taught: Leading Instructional Learners.
Adjunct Faculty, Ohio University, Ironton, Ohio. Class taught: Educational Psychology.
Adjunct Instructor, West Virginia Northern Community College, Wheeling, West Virginia. Class taught: Computer-Aided Drafting and Design.
PK-12 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
President, Catholic Central School (PK-12 system), Springfield, Ohio.
President, Chippewa Area Catholic Schools (PK-12 system), Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Principal, Our Lady of Fatima Parish School (PK-8), Huntington, West Virginia.
High School Teacher, Bishop Donahue High School, Wheeling, WV. Classes taught: Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Physics, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, Basic Programming, and Drama I.
Britt, K., and Young, P. (July 2013). From Parish-Based Schools to a Unified System: Sustaining a 150-Year-Old Legacy. Paper presented at the annual Catholic Education Summit, University of Dayton. Dayton, Ohio.
Britt, K. (2013). Identification, Description, and Perceived Viability of K – 12 Catholic
School Systems. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 16 (2).
Britt, K., Finneran, P., and Callahan, M. (October 2011). Catholic School Systems: An Alternative.
Paper presented at the bi-annual Ohio Catholic Education Association Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
Britt, K. (2009). Last in, first out: Exploring student achievement and retention at a community
college in Wisconsin (unpublished).
Britt, K., Felix, W., and Volk, C. (April 2009). Unified Catholic School Systems. Paper presented at
the annual National Catholic Education Association Conference. Anaheim, California.
Britt, K., Felix, W., and Volk, C. (March 2008). 20 Years of Successful Catholic School
Consolidation. Paper presented at the annual National Catholic Education Association Conference.
Britt, K. and Volk, C. (June 2008). Unified Catholic School Systems. Paper presented at the annual
Special Programs for Improving Catholic Education Conference. Boston, Massachusetts.
Britt, K. (2007). The Christian commitment: A phenomenology of lived exp