Fielding Graduate University is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven A. Schapiro, EdD, as the interim dean of academic affairs. This position will play an important role in developing and implementing a new Fielding vision as well as insuring the integrity of its academic programs as the university undergoes significant re-structuring. “I am excited to take on this new position in order to help Fielding maintain and strengthen our leadership role in providing a progressive and truly student-centered approach to graduate education,” Schapiro stated. “In the challenging and competitive educational landscape in which we find ourselves, we have much to teach the higher education community about how to implement individualized, experiential, and competency-based learning. Our approach is not tied to “seat time” or an overly standardized curriculum, but to inquiry and authentic learning in response to individual and societal needs. At the same time, I believe that we can learn from other progressive and learner-centered institutions about doing critical and emancipatory teaching, creating collaborative learning communities in cyber-space, and responding to the needs of the tech savvy and increasingly diverse students of today.”
The new dean will eventually assume the role of accreditation liaison officer (ALO) and guide the faculty in the program review process among many other essential responsibilities. “As our new ALO,” Schapiro reflected, “I will be drawing on my experience in this role at one of our sister institutions, Goddard College. I see my role of ALO as serving as a bridge and translator between us and our accrediting agency, WASC; helping WASC to understand and appreciate the unique dimensions of our learning model and forms of authentic and performance based assessment, and helping us to understand and respond to WASC’s call for clarity about what outcomes we expect from our students’ learning experiences, how we assess that learning, and how we use that knowledge to improve our practices.”
Dr. Schapiro has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education. He received his EdD in psychological education from the University of Massachusetts, an MAT in social studies from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, and a BA Magna Cum Laude in American studies from Yale University. His preparation for administration was strengthened by attendance at Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management. He has authored books, book chapters, and journal articles, and given over 50 scholarly presentations. Dr. Schapiro has served as a faculty member in Fielding’s School of Human & Organizational Development since 2000, and as the Malcolm Knowles Chair in Adult Learning since 2013. He has most recently served as senior co-chair of the Academic Senate Leadership Committee. His previous administrative work included dean for academic affairs at Goddard College where he also served as director of teacher education and special assistant to the president for Institutional Research and Planning. Dr. Schapiro will serve in the role of interim dean for the next two years before a national search is conducted.