Health Science interim dean is up for permanent position

Rachel Johnson

Jeffrey Killion, interim dean of Gunn College of Health Science & Human Services, spoke to a group of peers and MSU faculty as a part of the process of applying for the job of Dean of the Gunn College of HSHS, held in Dillard 101, Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Jeffrey Killion, interim dean of Gunn College of Health Science & Human Services, stood before his peers in Dillard Room 101, addressing his vision for the department and the goals he has to better the College of HSHS.

The word Killion used to sum up his visions and plans as future Dean of the college was “promoveo.” Promoveo is a latin verb meaning to move forward, to advance, or to enhance.

“Having an open house would be a neat idea, especially after we get the new building. [We could even] invite the community,” Killion said.

Killion had many ideas on how to advance the college. Killion discussed getting a similar set up to the Dillard College of Business as far as getting a student to run a social media account for their college. To him, the idea would help attract more people to their college if it reached more prospective students through the ways they communicate.

“It would help drive our presence on the social scene,” Killion said.

Killions other goals included working with community colleges to offer students access to more bachelor degree options, adding more staff, trying to find more full-time staff over adjunct professors, signature minors and opening more doors for masters and doctoral degrees.

He said the biggest challenges they will face trying to reach all the goals for the college are having enough space for classrooms and offices, balancing growth in face to face and online classes,  having too many adjunct professors and not enough full-time staff, and the budget.

“Classrooms are a premium that we need more of on this campus,” Killion said.

After Killion wrapped up the presentation, the floor opened up to questions they may have had.

Sheree Phifer, radiological sciences clinical coordinator, asked Killion about the doctoral program and if it would be all online or a hybrid. To which Killion said it would be a hybrid program. Phifer also asked when the new building would be completed.

“They are saying fall of 2019, but right now they are just playing in dirt. One tractor who pats it down, and then the other one that digs it back it up,” Killion said.

Jennifer Anderson, respiratory care chair, said there are things that the professors would like to change they feel they haven’t had a voice to change or fix in the past.

“How would you, as our dean, advocate for us?” Anderson said.

Killion wrapped up his answer and his time in front of his peers by explaining that there are a lot of avenues that the college hasn’t ventured down yet that would be beneficial to try to make situations better.

Killion is not only an MSU alumnus, but he has worked at MSU for 18 years as a professor, graduate coordinator and department chair.  He has also been interim dean for the past year. Killion received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from MSU, and even had some of his own professors sitting in the audience as he spoke still teaching at MSU.

“Gary Morrison was the only person who gave me a B, but I’m not bitter,” Killion said.

Killion said one thing to live by is to constantly surround yourself by good people. He said it not only benefits you as a person, but it benefits the people around you as well because in return you will be a good person to others.

“I don’t know all of the answers, that’s for sure…but that’s why you surround yourself with good people,” Killion said.