By Philippe Chauveau
Ohio Wesleyan welcomed Dr. Martin J. Eisenberg as the new Dean of Academic Affairs this summer.
Eisenberg earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in economics is joining the OWU administration after working at Truman University for 12 years. At Truman he served as interim dean of the School of Arts and Letters, associate provost and associate professor of economics. Prior to his work at Truman, Eisenberg was at Knox College for 13 years.
With a background rich in experience from working at a number of different liberal arts colleges, Eisenberg said he is hoping “to hit the ground running” at OWU.
“I believe deeply in the liberal arts education system,” he said.
While at Truman, Eisenberg was part of a team that developed an empirical model for identifying students who had a higher possibility of needing tutoring and extra help.
Although it wasn’t exact, Eisenberg said it gave administrators “some further understanding” on the subject.
According to Eisenberg, it is “too early to tell” whether he will develop a similar system for Ohio Wesleyan, but shared what he believes are the strengths and weaknesses of the current system.
“I really appreciate the student-faculty interaction, and the working environment is great,” he said. “But of course the first thing people talk about is the accomplishments and skills that OWU alums have.”
Eisenberg said one of his biggest challenges in the future is the retention rate of students.
“The retention rate is what we would like to improve on,” he said. “It isn’t bad, we would just like it to be higher.”
Eisenberg said he thinks interaction and communication will help him do his job to the best of his abilities. He said he is planning on working with the faculty to adapt the curriculum, among other things, such as academic space issues and conflicts over university policies.
“I play a major role in Academic Affairs, and work with faculty and students,” said Eisenberg. “There are a lot of logistics involved.”
According to Eisenberg, his initial plan is to “primarily listen, learn and meet people.”