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June 9, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Challenges ahead for new dean

Meredith Bond works with Ph.D student Maureen O’Donnell at the University of Maryland (courtesy Meredith Bond)

When incoming College of Sciences and Health professions dean Meredith Bond begins at CSU on July 18, she will be facing an interesting challenge beyond the budget or research.

In an interview for a story appearing in the June 10 Cleveland Stater, she said several times that she wants to find ways to interact with students – formally, informally, even off-campus.

The problem is the dean’s office. If a movie villain was looking for place to build his secret lair, Bond’s soon-to-be digs would be a good place. It’s located in a nondescript hallway on the third floor of the Science Research building. It’s a floor above the interior connector, so it’s not a place that gets a lot of foot traffic.

Getting out and about sounds like something Bond is going to look forward to. Christine Moravec, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Molecular Cardiology and a colleague of Bond’s, says she is “very personable, fun-loving and always likes to be in groups.”

Bond also has a great Australian accent (“She thinks she doesn’t have an accent anymore,” Morave joked), and added that she loves the winters here. I asked her if she was just saying that to play to her audience. But she put her money where her snow skis are, saying that she enjoys going to the Metroparks near her home for cross country skiing. Bond has kept her home in Chagrin Falls while working in Maryland the past eight years.

While Bond is making student interaction a priority, outgoing dean Bette R. Bonder said getting back in touch with students was one of the main reasons she’s going back into teaching at CSU.

“As a dean, I don’t see the students as often,” Bonder said. “I tend to only see them when they do something great or when problems happen. I want to see students on a day-to-day basis.”

Bonder will be going back into health sciences scientology and gerontology. She’s leaving the college in good shape. Scholarships increased from seven to 19 during her five-year tenure. The college added health professions to its title a year go.

And the budget. Of course, the budget. It’s hard to talk about anything happening on campus without the budget coming into the discussion. “Our faculty have really stepped up in taking on extra students,” Bonder said.

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