Provost appoints acting dean of Brooks College

Shiloh Reynolds

As of Feb. 25, Mark Schaub is serving as the acting dean for Grand Valley State University’s Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

He was appointed to the position by Provost Maria Cimitile after Dean Anne Hiskes chose to take a personal leave of absence prior to her upcoming retirement. Schaub said that he was surprised to be stepping in at the middle of the semester.

While he said he does not plan on starting any new major initiatives for Brooks College at this time, Schaub hopes to continue implementing successful strategies already in place.

“I really see the (acting dean) role as not starting significant new projects or initiatives, but more to continue on the pathway of the strategic plan for the college and help the various units and programs within the college achieve their strategic goals,” Schaub said. “The plan is in place, and it’s a good plan.”

Schaub has a nearly 20 year history with GVSU. After being hired in 1999, he worked first as a writing professor and then eventually became an administrator in the Padnos International Center. Prior to being hired by GVSU, Schaub was working and living abroad with his family.

“My family and I wanted to move back to the USA, but in one of the Great Lakes states,” Schaub said. “The GVSU job was my top choice over 20 years ago and we were thrilled to move to Michigan and live in Grand Rapids.”

Schaub holds a doctorate in English with an emphasis rhetoric and composition from Purdue University, along with a master’s degree in creative writing from Wichita State University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Lakeland College. He said that while he was in college, he was unsure what career path he would later follow.

“I had no idea what I’d end up doing,” Schaub said. “Initially, I saw myself as a journalist, but then I quickly realized I would love to work on a college campus in some capacity.”

Besides watching both of his sons graduate with bachelor’s degrees from GVSU, Schaub’s favorite experience with the university “has been the thrill of helping GVSU students have great international experiences — whether they’re studying abroad or international students who are earning their degrees here at GVSU.”

“I particularly loved visiting with GVSU students in cities in other countries, when I visited their host institutions during their semester or year abroad terms,” he said. 

While Schaub no longer lives abroad, he continues to travel overseas. He spent his spring break in Peru with his spouse Gayle, who works as a GVSU library faculty member.

“I definitely should not be taking a spring break vacation so soon into this job, but away we go,” Schaub said.