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Paul Decker returns to post at Institute for Ex. in Teaching & Learning; Eric Schockman to head OL

Woodbury University's Paul Decker Returns to Top Post at Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Eric Schockman to Head Organizational Leadership Programs

Concluding a four-year stint as Coordinator of Organizational Leadership programs at Woodbury University, Paul Decker is returning full time to his position as Executive Director of the Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (IETL), the university announced today.

IETL enhances the professional growth of full-time faculty, adjuncts and instructional staff, through services, programs and resources dedicated to creating more significant learning experiences for Woodbury students.

Decker previously served as Director, Faculty and Curriculum Development, in Woodbury's Center for Lifelong Learning, and as Executive Director of the university's Accelerated Degree Program. He joined Woodbury University in 1997. "All of us -- alumni, students, faculty and myself -- thank Paul for his significant contributions in guiding and improving the Organizational Leadership bachelor's and master's degree programs," said Douglas J. Cremer, PhD, Dean, Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, Woodbury University. "He has had a similar impact on our leadership academies. Now, the Institute will again benefit from his guidance, experience and inspiration."

Succeeding Decker as chair of the Organizational Leadership department is Eric Schockman, PhD. Dr. Schockman brings more than 25 years of academic and leadership experience to the post. He was former Associate Professor and Assoiate Dean at the University of Southern California, taught in the Masters of Public Administration program at CSUN, and ran both the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute for Public Affairs at CSULA and the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. Dr. Schockman has served on numerous prestigious local and state commissions and is the founder of the Global Hunger Foundation.

"We welcome Eric's energy and enthusiasm for his new role and look forward to many good things for the Leadership programs at Woodbury," Cremer said. The appointment follows the recent move of the Organizational Leadership undergraduate and graduate degree programs from Woodbury's School of Business to the Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies. The Institute offers students a cutting-edge approach to exploring the limits of learning, embracing the idea that individuals need to determine the purpose of their education for themselves, but always doing so in cooperation and collaboration with others. Students in the major are co-creators of their own learning paths, which can follow various directions.

According to Cremer, the move will benefit students and increase the visibility, outreach, and growth of the Organizational Leadership programs. The Institute's expertise in connecting and integrating various perspectives of thought, as well as in developing and assessing quantitative and written communication skills, fits well with the Organizational Leadership focus on critical thinking, human behavior, ethics and teams. "The change also recognizes that the Organizational Leadership program's emphasis on rigorous learning rooted in both professional experience and the liberal arts and sciences is quintessentially transdisciplinary," Cremer said.