VERMILLION, S.D. (May 9, 2002) -- Dr. Hank Rubin will come to know the 120-mile stretch of road between Brookings and Vermillion like a comfortable, old friend as Joint Dean of Education for South Dakota State University and The University of South Dakota.

“I’m going to be that blur on I-29, going back and forth,” he said.

Rubin’s appointment as Joint Dean and Professor of Educational Administration officially begins June 13. He will have an office on each campus and a central office at USDSU (The University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Dakota State University) in Sioux Falls.

Rubin’s primary focus will be to lead the education efforts on the two campuses. In addition, other duties will be to develop new educational opportunities in Sioux Falls.

“I’ll ‘live’ there (Sioux Falls) a great deal of the time,” Rubin said, “and every week I’ll spend time on each campus in Vermillion and Brookings. Along with leading the two campuses, we have a lot to do in Sioux Falls. We’ll develop higher and broader visions on both campuses, and we’ll be building a range of academic programs in Sioux Falls.”

Rubin and his family - wife Tina Raffaldini, who is leaving her position as associate professor of modern languages at DePaul University in Chicago, daughter Amelia, 12, and son Lane, 11 - will move to Sioux Falls from Worthington, Ohio. For the past two years, Rubin has served as associate superintendent for the Center for Students, Families and Communities and as special assistant to the state superintendent of public education for the Ohio Department of Education in Columbus.

The joint deanship, Rubin said, is a brave new venture that came about through the foresight of many.

“A lot of vision has brought it to this point,” he said. “Vision on the part of the university presidents, the members of the search committee who were challenged to define this position, faculty who are discussing what this means to them, educators in the field and students who are eager to see this new venture unfold.

“The two vice presidents (Dr. Carol J. Peterson at SDSU and Dr. Royce Engstrom at USD) have been wonderful. This means a new role and new opportunities for them, as well. They’ve never worked together before to supervise a joint dean. The bravery they’ve shown in taking the lead in this speaks to their commitment to public education.

“We will all be working to weave this into new ways of doing business. We’ll be inventing new communication patterns. That’s what makes it extraordinarily exciting. It’s a challenge that gets all of the juices flowing.”

Both SDSU and USD have operated with full deanships in the past and both had vacancies when the idea emerged of creating a joint deanship. President Jim Abbott began discussing the concept with Peggy Gordon Miller during 2001. It was a novel idea that developed into an innovative management concept for both universities. Rubin will provide overall leadership in strategic planning to ensure that both schools are serving the state’s needs in education. He will oversee budget development and professional growth of faculty and staff, maintain professional liaisons with governmental and professional agencies and groups and provide collaborative leadership for programs serving primary through high school grades and beyond.

The venture will succeed through collaboration, a concept familiar to Rubin, who has written two books on the subject. His latest, “Collaborative Leadership: Developing Effective Partnerships in Communities and Schools,” was just released this month.

“Collaborative leadership is building and managing relationships that are necessary to get things done in the public,” Rubin said. “All of us are collaborative leaders as soon as we join a team, or a partnership, or a board, or a committee, but most of us haven’t stopped to think about what it takes to get things done. It’s thoughtful, strategic work through relationships to get things done with others.”

SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller is happy to welcome Rubin to the team. “We look forward to working with Dr. Rubin as the outstanding teacher and counselor education programs at these two universities bring their collective strength to developing quality teachers, administrators and counselors for South Dakota,” she said.

Rubin is coming in with no pre-determined goals, but fully ready to assume the role of student, eager to learn and to implement the role defined by the two universities.

“I’ll spend the next weeks and months learning a great deal,” he said. “I’m coming in as an outsider and really have so much to learn about South Dakota, about the two universities, about the faculty, the students, the communities, the issues. I plan on doing a great deal of learning and asking a lot of questions.

“I’m looking forward, also, to working with colleagues in the other institutions throughout South Dakota and the people in the districts-the teachers, the administrators and the counselors. The beautiful thing about South Dakota is, I may very well get the chance to meet all of them.”

USD Acting President Don Dahlin said Rubin has both the qualifications and the qualities necessary to accept the challenge of this unique position. “With his depth of experience and commitment to education, we are confident he will work successfully with both USD and SDSU to enhance the educational experience for students and better serve the needs of the state,” he said.

Rubin’s commitment in everything he’s done, in his own words, is driven by one belief: “That we are all here, first and foremost, for the benefit of children - the children they are now, the adults we hope they’ll become, and the society they’ll create and inhabit. What happens to children is the business of all of us, but especially those of us who teach them, counsel them and administer their schools.”

For more information, please contact: Dr. Carol J. Peterson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSU, (605) 688-4173; or Dr. Royce C. Engstrom, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs at USD, (605) 677-6497.