DWU announces faculty promotions

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Five faculty members at Dakota Wesleyan University are being honored for promotion.


  • Erin Desmond is being promoted from instructor to assistant professor;


“Many people don’t fully appreciate the scope of work undertaken by faculty in the fine and performing arts at smaller colleges and universities,” said Provost, Joe Roidt. “Erin Desmond demonstrates a commitment to the university that regularly extends beyond the parameters of eight-hour days and five-day work weeks. In addition to being an excellent teacher across a range of contexts (e.g. traditional classroom, one-on-one voice lessons, and conducting the Wesleyan Bells and Dakota Dynamics), Ms. Desmond contributes music to a multitude of campus events and performances. She has also been extensively involved in the regional musical scene at the secondary level and her tireless recruiting efforts have played a critical role in both the recent growth in the university’s performing ensembles and the growing strength and ability of those same ensembles,” said Roidt.  


  • Tracy Hadler is being promoted from assistant professor to associate professor. Hadler has been granted tenure, as well;


“Ms. Hadler is an integral part of the success of the university’s LPN-BS program on its Sioux Falls campus. The LPN-BS program is an accelerated, hybrid program which means that students take classes year-round and complete significant portions of their coursework online, coming to campus once per week for portions of the program to receive face-to-face instruction in core nursing coursework. Most of the students in the program continue to work full-time as nurses while completing the program. The reality is that this arrangement, and the fact that the program is offered at a satellite campus, compels faculty teaching in this program to assume roles that faculty on the traditional campus are not always obligated to assume. Ms. Hadler’s willingness assume these roles, coupled with her excellent teaching ability, represents a large part of the reason why the program has been so successful, with more than 90% of program graduates passing the NCLEX exam,” said Roidt.


  • Joan Lubben is being promoted from associate professor to full professor;


“Dr. Lubben is a dedicated, intentional and effective classroom teacher. Her students will be the first to tell you that she can be something of a ‘task master’ in the classroom but, at the end of the day, it is clear that she is deeply committed to her students’ learning and it is clear that most of her students appreciate that commitment. Dr. Lubben regularly demonstrates her commitment to the welfare of the university by stretching herself to develop new courses in mathematics and to make strategic modifications to the mathematics curriculum to better position students for success. She has also evidenced a willingness to step outside of her traditional discipline in order to meet the needs of the university,” said Roidt.


  • Derric Ludens is being promoted from instructor to assistant professor;


“Mr. Ludens has been one of the leading innovators on campus with respect to integrating technology into the teaching and learning environment and exploring new ways to strengthen student learning on campus. Mr. Ludens’ Cultural Perspectives on American Literature course -one of the university’s breadth of knowledge courses - represents a case study in how to creatively integrate technology in the classroom to improve student learning outcomes. Mr. Ludens has also been one of the drivers of the English program’s move to integrate its remedial English course with English composition, which has improved the performance of students who need extra support to succeed in English composition. Mr. Ludens has also assumed a variety of leadership roles on campus that belie his junior faculty status,” said Roidt. 


  • Brian Patrick is being promoted from associate professor to full professor;


“In many respects, Dr. Patrick sets a challenging standard to which junior faculty at the university might aspire. Dr. Patrick has succeeded in combining an active and robust scholarly research agenda with very strong classroom teaching. He is a sought-after expert in the field of Arachnology - the study of spiders - and he has worked with many students in the laboratory, giving them their first taste of true nature of scientific research,” said Roidt.


These promotions will become effective for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.