Retiring CLAE dean on accomplishments, regrets

Mark Denham, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education, is retiring after nine years in the position.

During his tenure, the college has expanded with new minors and other programs, like the recently-added Center for Justice Studies, as part of Criminal Justice program.

However, the university in 2018 stopped accepting new students into the college’s education program, citing low enrollment. Once the students who were previously enrolled before the decision have graduated, the program will be no more.

Denham, in an interview, said he wishes he could have saved education program. He also said he wishes he could have done more to renovate the Briggs Building.

The university is currently raising funds to renovate the building’s basement, second and third floors. Upgrades to the first floor were made shortly before Denham became dean.

Denham expressed gratitude to the university and the peers that he was able to work with, insisting the college’s faculty and staff get credit for any accomplishments.

“[Deans] do not teach and they are not expected to do research,” he told The Varsity News. “It is the dean’s office that works towards creating an atmosphere of creativity and professionalism, and must make sure classes are taught, faculty and staff have what they need, and students have a positive learning experience.”

Prior to joining Detroit Mercy, Denham was at the University of Toledo where he held positions as associate dean, department chair and faculty member.

He also taught courses that involved international political economy and other international subjects.

On top of this, Denham has travelled extensively in Africa. He took part in directing four Fulbright-Hays Group Projects that involved leading groups for travel in South Africa, Lesotho, and Botswana

Denham always made sure that his research mostly consisted of issues in the developing world.

A search is currently underway for his successor.