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Darlyne Bailey.

Darlyne Bailey spoke at a press conference May 18 announcing her appointment as dean of the new College of Education and Human Development. She began her duties Oct. 2.

Rising star

The new College of Education and Human Development welcomes Darlyne Bailey

By Patty Mattern

From M, fall 2006

When her parents gave her a stethoscope for her birthday, the 9-year-old Darlyne Bailey started seeing patients immediately.

"We had a hatch [door] in the backyard that would lead to the basement and I had the kids come down for their appointments," says Bailey, now 54 years old and a rising star in higher education.

"'Honey, what are you doing down there?' asked my mother as she looked in. I was giving them physicals and mental exams all based on this book I read about the relationship between our bodies, minds, and happiness," she says.

"My mom, very lovingly, said, 'You can't do that until you learn much more in school and become a doctor. Then, you can really hang up your shingle.'"

Bailey's shingle ended up saying not M.D. but Ph.D., and it helped bring her to what she sees as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity-the chance to lead the new College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota.

In October, Bailey will become the U's first African-American female dean. She is leaving Teachers College at Columbia University, where she served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of Teachers College and as acting president in spring 2003.

"This is an opportunity to walk my talk," Bailey said. "I've been preaching and teaching about multidisciplinary perspectives. I've been dreaming of institutions that embrace that ideology, and that's what we'll have."

The new CEHD--formed from the former CEHD, General College, and the College of Human Ecology's Department of Family Social Science and School of Social Work--will focus on human development across the lifespan.

"Students will have the chance to take a myriad of courses focusing on the whole context of human development through a multidisciplinary lens," says Bailey. This multidisciplinary approach, along with the University's commitment to making sure the college is well funded and staffed, made coming here irresistible for Bailey.

"This is an opportunity to walk my talk," Bailey said. "I've been preaching and teaching about multidisciplinary perspectives. I've been dreaming of institutions that embrace that ideology, and that's what we'll have."

Under her second title--assistant to the president--Bailey will be the lead dean on two systemwide efforts: the Consortium for Postsecondary Academic Success and the Children, Youth and Family Consortium.

Bailey has has already spent countless hours on campus and working with people by phone. "I will constantly be asking my colleagues to join me in co-creating the college," she says.