Two Wartburg College faculty recently were promoted to newly created roles that will help the college reach the goals outlined in its strategic plan, “Our Brightest Days: Realizing Purpose, Leading Change.”


Michaeleen Golay, associate professor of biology, has been named the assistant dean for academic innovation, and Michael Gleason, director of the Institute for Leadership Education and Irving R. Burling Distinguished Professor in Leadership, is the new associate dean for graduate studies. Both will continue to teach in their respective areas.

“With the innovation, leadership and accountability these two will provide, I know that Wartburg is headed in the right direction. Drs. Golay and Gleason are ready to serve and help us as we begin to implement the ideas and projects needed to accomplish our strategic plan goals,” said Debora Johnson-Ross, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

As the assistant dean for academic innovation, Golay will review and clarify policies, processes, and procedures for new undergraduate program development in collaboration with academic departments; identify new undergraduate academic opportunities; and support existing program reviews to support student success and create competitive advantage, among other things.


Gleason will develop policies and procedures for graduate program development in collaboration with academic departments; develop processes and procedures for graduate recruitment and admission; facilitate graduate student success; and develop infrastructure to administer graduate programs, among other duties.

“This will be a great opportunity to collaborate with others on campus to think about how we can build upon the strengths and mission of the college and reach new student audiences through graduate programs,” Gleason said.

Together, Gleason and Golay will convene the newly created Academic Innovation Think Tank.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve the college in this new role and to collaborate with Michael Gleason and other faculty and staff who are interested in academic innovation at this institution,” Golay said.


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