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
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
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.