Interim Dean Roy Weaver has spent nearly 28 years in the Office of the Dean of Teachers College. He was associate dean for 10 years, dean for 16 years, and is currently in his second year as interim dean. He earned a B.S. in English from Ball State in 1968 before earning a M.A.E. in 1971 from Ball State and then a Ed.D. in 1975 from Indiana University.
What are the most valuable skills you learned as an English major? How have they helped you post-graduation?
The amount of reading and writing required in courses and the high expectations, which always seemed somehow to be challenging, forced me to develop time management and organizational skills.
The ability to read quickly for understanding and the ability to write effectively, using a variety of styles, were valuable outcomes of coursework. Occasional opportunities to select books to read and to choose ways to demonstrate understanding of them encouraged creativity.
Discussions of fictional characters afforded an examination of values, motives, human relationships allowed for introspection and self-development.
Observing, evaluating, and interacting with such memorable and influential faculty as Sandy McGibbon, Ethel Mae Haave, and Robert Newcomb, had the same effect. All of these experiences helped shape who I became and what I accomplished later.
What does a typical week look like for you?
A typical week involves a couple of meetings starting at around 7 a.m. and a couple of meetings after 5 p.m. Work ends most evenings around 9 p.m., though some nights go longer.
Much of the evening work involves catching up on email. Occasionally, it involves working on projects or plans – documents requiring ongoing development with upcoming deadlines.
Most weeks involve 60 to 70 hours of work. There is still time for going to movies, watch an occasional television show, playing piano, attending sports and cultural events at the university, traveling, and enjoying family.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
Encouraging creative thinking and supporting the development of innovative programs generated by others is at the heart of what I value. Finding ways to support and to recognize the success of administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni is personally rewarding.
Working with others to develop or to support significant, nationally- and internationally-recognized innovations is most fulfilling. Some illustrations include:
- the development of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
- Electronic Field Trip programs
- live and interactive televised programming with some of the world’s greatest organizations (the Holocaust Museum; the Smithsonian Air & Space, National History, American Indian, and other Smithsonian museums; Baseball Hall of Fame; Field Museum; and NASA, to name a few)
- teacher education lap-top requirement with Apple, Inc
- Germany student teaching program with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
- the Schools Within the Context of Community program
- the significant growth of the Applied Behavior Analysis program in the department of Special Education and its potential expansion to China
- An evolving working relationship with Project Lead The Way.
- Finding ways to benefit the university through reorganization of units and generating new, substantial revenue, in concert with others in the college, is as fulfilling as any other activity. Many other illustrations could be provided.
Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out their next step?
- Think deeply about what excites you and for which you can be passionate.
- Examine your strengths and how they can be used to move forward in ways that you want.
- Assess areas in which you could strengthen, without which you might find barriers to your aspirations.
- Network with other alumni, faculty, and students to gain advice and support.
- Think broadly about the possibilities: English skills are in high demand and transferable to a variety of careers, so don’t limit what you think you can do!