Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

School of Education hires new temporary dean

After serving as dean for three years Dr. Darlene Marnich steps down from her role, in the meantime Shari Payne takes on two dean roles

After serving three years as sitting dean for the School of Education, Dr. Darlene Marnich decided to step down to be chair of the Leadership and Administration department in the School of Education. “I really thought it would be best if I was able to step away from the administration to take a look at that structure,” Marnich said.

Marnich wrote many programs for the School of Education and was the faculty member that proposed to the provost that the School of Education become a school in the first place. 

The current acting dean for the School of Education, Shari Payne was recommended temporarily for the position by Marnich after only serving as the dean of Continuing Professional Studies for four months. She will be taking on these two jobs in the meantime while the university conducts a nationwide search for a permanent dean. 

“I do have two jobs right now,” Payne said. “It keeps me very busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like it to be busy and I am fortunate to be able to work with two really, really talented teams in the School of Education.”

Lou Corsaro, director of Public Relations at Point Park said that the university is targeting an announcement for the position in October. “There’ll be a full process to where they’re hoping to be able to hire someone sometime in the spring with a start sometime in the summer,” Coraso said. “So it’s going to be a little vague because it’s a long process.”

Looking back on Marnich’s time as dean, Ava Cook, senior elementary education studies major, recalled the community that Marnich fostered within the department. 

“She was very helpful when it came to inviting us to different events and just kind of trying to keep the education department close,” Cook said. “She always tried to get us shuttles when we were doing field experience. So it’s definitely going to be different not having her as the dean”

Senior Jenna Delmonte formerly was a part of the school of education, majoring in education PreK through 4, now she majors in interdisciplinary studies. Before transferring programs Marnich tried to convince her not to. Her recollections of Marnich are also positive ones.

“She was also really great when I switched out of it,” Delmonte said. “So she was really understanding. She actually tried to convince me to stay”

So far Cook said that she has not had very much interaction with the new temporary dean of the school, only having met her once in these first two weeks. 

Payne said that she had more plans in the future to reach out to students. “I’m still settling in,” Payne said. “When I say that I have a good team I mean it.” 

Marnich, the former dean, noted Payne’s qualifications to be in the role with her experience in financial aid, recruitment and higher education.

“Instead of just having somebody in this role for this year as an acting dean, as a paper signer, she really is helping us with our vision,” Marnich said. “While we sort this out she has graciously accepted that position. She is an awesome person to work with.”

Although she has been at the university since 1981, after stepping down, Marnich’s salary went down. “I never would have expected to keep my dean’s salary when I went back to being chair,” Marnich said. “It went down to what I should be.”  

After asking if both positions would raise the salary of Payne, she declined to comment. When the time to select a permanent dean comes, Payne plans to keep her position as dean of the School of Continuing Professional Studies. “I am very satisfied with my role,” she said.

Marnich, along with the rest of the staff in the School of Education, will continue to brief and support Payne in her role until someone comes along to fill the position more permanently.

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