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Bowen Named Dean of Sciences

Posted: Jul 18, 2014

Lance Bowen Image

Dr. Lance Bowen, Dean of Sciences at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Concluding a national search conducted during the past four months, Truckee Meadows Community College has named Lance Bowen as Dean of Sciences, beginning his new position July 1.

The Alaska native was one of three finalists and participated in candidate forums attended by TMCC faculty and staff. Bowen earned his M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“It’s exciting to help shape an even more efficient college at a time of increased importance for accountability, transparency and limited funding,” said Lance Bowen, Dean of Sciences. “I wanted the opportunity to make a difference.”

Bowen has taught courses extensively at TMCC; including introduction to biology, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and cadaver dissection.

Science rules!

“Science is all around us – having an objective and open mind, and developing critical thinking skills benefits a person in both academic and professional life,” Bowen said.

Bowen has been inspired by people involved in the scientific field and by his colleagues.

“I admire scientists and educators who are always looking to make the world a better place and who want to help other people,” Bowen said. “I am inspired by so many of the faculty here who are entirely committed, ready to roll up their sleeves to work hard, and are in the moment.”

The Dean of Sciences is in charge of communication and direction in the division

Deans coordinate the demands of the departments in their division. Bowen will look at the prerequisites for degrees and oversee any changes to prerequisites based on changes in degree requirements. He will sustain policies and procedures of the division, and be a support for students, faculty and department chairs.

The other major responsibility of a dean is establishing a future-looking direction.

“We need to be looking for what’s coming next, so we’re well prepared to give our students a clear path to completion,” Bowen said. “There’s a huge push to drive forward STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. It is President Obama’s agenda, and a priority of the Department of Education.”

Workforce projections from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) and other agencies predict a considerably greater number of openings in the allied health professions, Bowen said.

Part of his work will be to analyze the potential needs of large companies opening or relocating to the area, anticipating what type of educated and skilled workforce they will require.

“If Tesla, or other large employers come to the region, they need colleges to provide the education and degree programs for their employees,” Bowen said. “We should have a proactive stance in evaluating and growing our capacity and facilities to accommodate jobs that open up for students.”

One way that TMCC is stepping up to meet workforce demands of Nevada is through skills certificates. The college offers 27 certificates that are accredited by the Nevada Board of Regents and are stated as significantly needed by the state’s employers. The skills certificates are between nine and 29 credits and can be completed in one to a few semesters. They are designed so that a student can complete the program and go right into a job with a certificate that is recognized by a particular industry.

Examples of are Nursing Assistant, Cisco Certification, Solar Energy Technician, Phlebotomy, and others.

“Many of the skills certificates are stackable, which means there are several levels that can also lead to a Certificate of Achievement or degree,” Bowen said.

Bowen is the accreditation liaison officer to the Northwestern Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the accrediting body for TMCC. He began this role in his prior position as Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning.

Bowen is previous Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning at TMCC

Prior to becoming Dean, Bowen served as Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning at TMCC. In this post, Bowen managed the college’s assessment efforts of both courses and programs through the Course Assessment Report (CAR) and Program Unit Review (PUR) processes.

In order to analyze all classes at TMCC, each one is first based on a master course outline that is a blueprint of its structure and content. The Associate Dean examines CAR, the evaluation of student learning outcomes – what students will know and be able to do by the end of a course.

On a program level, in the PUR process, he performed a wider examination of the effectiveness and outcomes for entire units of study. Examples of these programs are physical sciences, biology, nursing, dental hygiene and dental assisting. There are 40 programs of study at TMCC, and more than 100 certificates, degrees or emphases.

Additionally, Bowen oversaw the production of the college catalog and schedule.

The new Dean is not afraid to take on new challenges

“One positive difference that I’d like to make is to shorten the time to completion of degrees, streamlining the curriculum and establishing a very clearly defined pathway to graduation,” Bowen said. “We have such a talented faculty who have tremendous expertise and can be tapped into for mentorship in assisting students find a direct pathway to complete their degrees without taking superfluous credits.”

He would also like to be known for having a warm and welcoming office.

“I have an open door policy for anyone who would like to stop by and ask questions about our forward-looking Science Division,” Bowen said.

Bowen has been married to Danielle for 14 years, and they have two children, Ella and Austin. The family lives in Sparks.

More information about programs of study in the sciences can be found on the departmental Web pages, including , , , , , , , , ,  , , and .

 



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