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JFSC Gets New Dean

Release No: UNRELEASED Sept. 30, 2013 PRINT | E-MAIL

A prominent educator with ties to the Hampton Roads area is the new Dean of Academic Affairs at the Joint Forces Staff College, a component of the National Defense University.

Dr. Patricia B. Strait arrived on board the college earlier this month. She is a former faculty member and chair of the University of Richmond's Faculty Council, a 17-member body which represents about 400 faculty members and is an internationally known speaker and author.

A former Navy veteran, Strait is no stranger to the JFSC. She had previously served as a sponsor to the school's international students from Italy, Mexico, Greece, Peru, and Chile. Her extensive academic background includes serving as chair of the programs in Human Resource Management and Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond and on the faculty at Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University.

The educator has long focused on the needs of the military student. Her involvement in helping open educational doorways for the military resulted in her receiving the Faculty Appreciation Award in 2003 for the unique "Ships at Sea" MBA program for active duty students.

Since her arrival at JFSC, Strait said her major objective is "to safeguard the student experience and ensure they receive a quality education," she said.

"My priorities are to ensure we have a robust, prepared faculty and that our curriculum stays relevant; that the students and faculty have the resources they need to succeed, to include technical and research support, guest speakers and relevant field trips to help create the best student experience," Strait said.

The dean acknowledged that given the current fiscal constraints, it will be a challenge to continue providing a quality experience for the student body. "My initial impression is that we have an incredibly enthusiastic, motivated faculty body trying to create the best learning experience during a time of significant federal budget constraints," she noted.

She said she has three values that serve as guideposts: "Be honest; be fair; and be transparent."

"It's important as the dean to connect with the faculty and the students and to be an advocate for them," Strait said. She said she plans to sit in on classes and attend lectures to help her stay connected with the students and faculty and enhance her understanding of the curriculum.

Strait received her doctoral in philosophy from the College of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University in 1993. She has international experience in teaching, research and team building with a special research interest in the relationship between immigration and national security. She has also served as an associate editor of the International Journal of Public Sector Management, International Journal of Diversity in Organizations Communities and Nations, and the Global Studies Journal.