USD’s new Arts and Sciences dean is looking to lead the college to success.
Dean Michael Kruger came to USD over the summer. He has 24 years of experience in higher education, and 13 years in administration.
Kruger said his previous experience as associate dean of Arts and Sciences at University of Missouri-Kansas City has helped him fit into his new role at USD.
“In my previous role I had worked closely with the dean and on pretty much all aspects of being dean,” he said.
Kruger got his start in administration when the role of physics department chair at UM-KC needed to be filled. He said he declined the offer at first because he had no interest in administration, but eventually accepted the position and found that he enjoyed it.
“What I liked about it was that I was able to help people in many ways,” Kruger said. “I liked setting goals for the department in collaboration with my faculty. I liked developing strategies to achieve those goals.”
Kruger found he could impact more people in the new role, and said he appreciated that.
“Once I saw how much good I was able to do, then when I was asked to serve other administrative roles, it was no problem,” Kruger said. “I was thrilled I had been asked.”
Kruger’s predecessor, Matthew Moen, left the position last spring.
Kruger decided to apply for the USD position because he wanted to continue to give students opportunities in higher education.
“I was attracted when I was reading about it (USD) when I was trying to decide whether or not I should apply, and I learned about the number of students that received national awards,” Kruger said. “The faculty are doing everything at an amazingly high level, and our students are both fantastic and very fortunate to have such dedicated educators.”
Before he makes any changes, Kruger said he intends to spend time listening to students to improve the quality of education and expand the college’s reach.
“I’d like to have a bigger impact on the state, on the region and on the world,” Kruger said. “And USD’s College of Arts and Sciences – it’s primed to do it.”
Junior Erica Miller said she likes that Kruger is working to make the College of Arts and Sciences more well-known.
“Usually people don’t look at USD and think arts and science — they think of the law, the medical and the business school… the first thing they think of isn’t arts and science,” Miller said.
Associate dean Laura Vidler, who’s also a new recruit to USD Arts and Sciences , said Kruger works well with the staff and is committed to the college’s mission and future.
“He really values the input and opinions of the staff,” Vidler said. “He really cares about our professional development.”
Kruger anticipates assisting USD students in his new role.
“I’m looking forward to helping the college and the university flourish so that our students will flourish,” he said.