Loewen ready for challenge
When Dr. Craig Loewen (BEd ’84) discusses stepping into the role of acting dean, Faculty of Education, he harbours no illusions.
“The worst job in the world is following somebody who’s been incredibly successful, but there you go,” chuckles Loewen, who has been appointed for a two-year period.
It’s a sense of humour that has served Loewen well over the years and one of the reasons the immensely respected and accomplished mathematics education expert is being tabbed as the one to follow in the footsteps of departing dean, Dr. Jane O’Dea.
“Jane has done an outstanding job leading the faculty for 10 years,” says Loewen of O’Dea, who is returning to the faculty ranks. “The place is in great shape, our programs are solid, and we’ve got an excellent reputation and an outstanding faculty delivering our programming. From that perspective, it should be both interesting and fun working with the people we have in place.”
The Loewen name is synonymous with the Faculty of Education. His father Arthur was an education faculty member and part of the University from its inception in 1967 through his retirement in 1987.
“We actually overlapped by one meeting,” says Loewen. “The year he retired was the year I started, so the Faculty of Education has never been without a Loewen in 40-some years of history.”
He takes over a faculty that is definitely in a position of strength, all the while acknowledging that the financial demands facing post-secondary institutions complicate matters.
Loewen isn’t completely new to the position, however, having served previously as interim dean. That experience gave him the opportunity to work at the administrative level and he enjoyed the collaborative atmosphere. What he’ll miss are his teaching duties.
“I won’t pretend otherwise, yes, it’ll be tough to give up teaching because I absolutely do love it,” he says. “On the other hand, people who love teaching need to be doing this kind of work to protect that opportunity for others.”