This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
After six years in administration as a dean and vice president, Michelle Fleck, Ph.D., is stepping down from the deanship and returning to full-time teaching, as the position of dean of arts and sciences is being dismantled.
A deanship at CEU has traditionally been a four-year position, and now Fleck is ready to return to her original job at the college.
She received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Tennessee Tech, a master’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Ph.D. in adult education from the University of Wyoming. She met her husband while attending school in Missouri. They moved to Utah when he became a coal geologist in the early 1980s.
Since 1987, Fleck has taught at the college and currently teaches geology and math. She used to teach some chemistry classes but dropped those classes as geology demand has risen. In January 2004, Fleck was asked to serve as the dean of professional and applied technology education. After six months, she was reassigned as the dean of arts and sciences. She served as this dean for three years and then returned to a full-time teaching position in the 2007-2008 academic year. In 2008-2009, she was appointed as interim vice president for academic affairs. She then offered to return as the A&S dean until the USU merger was finalized.
Next semester, Fleck will be teaching 12-credit hours. A typical load is 15-credit hours. She is also helping manage concurrent enrollment courses.
While Fleck has been the dean, she helped implement online courses and mandatory math placement. “I wouldn’t say that anything is just my own accomplishment,” she added.
“I don’t really have any major regrets about my administrative work at CEU, other than the fact that the last couple of years have been difficult due to budget cuts. We were forced to lay off several college employees, which was very sad. I regret that we had to lose some of our colleagues due to budget cuts.”
Fleck likes the small community here. “It’s a small school, small classes. I know half the students personally. The school has a really friendly atmosphere.”
She is currently taking a yoga class and attends Diana Root’s aerobics class if time permits. She likes traveling, hiking, canoeing and camping.
If she could offer advice to students, she would tell them, “Take as much math as you can while you’re at a small school and can get those small classes out of the way.” She thinks that math is more important than what a student would expect it to be and will be useful in the long run.
A quote attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Prayer Before Study” has been on her mind lately. “Grant to me keenness of mind, capacity to remember, skill in learning, subtlety to interpret and eloquence in speech.”
The deanship has been split into two divisions. Fleck expects this to work better with the USU merger. “I think they’ll enjoy it. Administration can be a challenge, but also it can be fun. It’s good to have as many people as you can who know how the college works. I think they’ll do a great job.”
Scott Henrie will be the associate vice chancellor for liberal arts, and Melanie Nelson will be associate vice chancellor for science starting January of 2011.