goodwin university academic deans

Academic Deans’ Community Day Message, Fall 2021

At Goodwin University’s Fall Community Day August 30, 2021, the academic deans — Paula Dowd, School of Health Sciences and Nursing, Diana LaRocco, School of Applied Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Cliff Thermer, School of Business, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing — offered the following thoughts to the faculty and staff.

Day after day, Goodwin faculty endeavor to do good work. As described by Howard Gardner, good work “is at once excellent in quality and socially responsible” (Seevers & Shaughnessy, 2003, p. 47).

Faculty members’ good work is Goodwin’s most important asset. And their good work is foundational to the success of every member of the Goodwin community.

Gardener and colleagues (Gardner et al., 2001) explained that doing good work during favorable times is difficult at best. And yet, for more than 17 months, Goodwin faculty sustained their sense of calling, doing good work as they navigated the uncertainly and stress of the pandemic.

  • Faculty never lost sight of the University’s mission of supporting all students in reaching their highest academic, professional, and personal potential.
  • With a laser focus on this goal, faculty regularly came together to engage in active reflection on their teaching and students’ learning.
  • Using equity, diversity, and inclusivity as a framework, faculty prioritized supporting students’ wellbeing above all else.
  • Faculty identified where they could make manageable and meaningful changes to their practice.
  • They quickly moved fully on-ground courses to online, retooling curriculum, assignments, and in-class activities to support students’ engagement in learning.
  • Overnight, faculty made giant leaps in how they used technology to not only facilitate students’ learning but also build the strong student-faculty relationships that we know have a significant and positive effect on student outcomes.
  • Faculty went above and beyond regular office hours making extra time to meet with students.
  • And so much more!

Faculty members’ resilience and unrelenting drive to do good work during the past 17 months are humbling. And it’s their good work that we honor and celebrate today.


Gardner, H., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Damon, W. (2001). Good work: When excellence and ethics meet. Basic Books.
Seevers, R., & Shaughnessy, M. F. (2003). Good Work: An Interview With