Dean’s Corner: Spring Updates

by William Clements, PhD on 4/20/21 10:15 AM

Warm greetings from an increasingly green campus to our alumni, students, faculty and friends as we navigate toward summer. After what we have endured for too many months I know we all look forward to more normal conditions in our work, travel, and personal lives as recovery from the pandemic takes shape. Many industries including higher education have learned much from the experience, often in ways that will influence how we think about our business and envision the future. The university and your team at the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies have lived and learned many valuable lessons resulting from our remote work, new technology use, and multi-modal interactions during the past year. How about you, what are the top lessons from your experiences?


The return to a “new normal” will bring additional challenges and opportunities as we focus on practices that have value, and redefine how we do business and what normal looks like going forward. One constant and relevant thread extending into the future is education. The pace of change continues as an order of magnitude, perhaps amplified by the pandemic and certainly a forcing function by itself. A world in which the majority of business assets were physical only thirty to forty years ago now finds the vast majority of value located in intellectual property and non-physical assets; namely people, knowledge, and systems. The case for education and continual learning is stronger now more than ever. We can personally and organizationally develop deeper knowledge in our own fields and across disciplines as an asset to apply to real problems and opportunities.

Congratulations to our students finishing their degrees this year and those who will graduate this June. Your program leadership and faculty also continue to learn through their professional activity, writing, and assuring your curriculum is current and relevant. Special congratulations to cybersecurity program leader, Henry Collier, who is scheduled to complete his PhD in engineering security.

While much progress has been made in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, our annual Residency Conference will remain virtual again the week of June 21-25. It was our hope that conditions would permit a traditional campus-based conference, which is simply not the case with respect to being able to control the pandemic. We have had much more time to plan a virtual conference this year and I look forward to an engaging event over several days.

An advantage of our virtual residency conference is that alumni and friends will be able to participate, an inclusive feature I hope to retain as an ongoing benefit of our adaptation to the pandemic. To view the many open sessions and register, simply go to Cvent and register as “alumni” and for “general admission.” Follow the instructions and you will receive confirmation and participation details. Feel free to share with a friend as well. I am sure you will find engaging sessions that allow you to continue your education and learning. That’s what Norwich grads do!

On a closing note, I am also pleased to announce that our newest academic programs are launching this year with some programs already live. All of our programs and certificates are available at; take a look if you haven’t visited in a while. While you are there, don’t forget to visit Norwich Pro for a line-up of exciting new none-degree offerings. Norwich Pro programs may be useful to your own professional development or for others in your organization. And, if we don’t yet have a program to meet your organization’s needs, let us know as we can build it!

I look forward to the coming year and meeting our alumni and partners in person again soon as travel and gathering restrictions begin to loosen. Our continued best wishes for a productive, post-pandemic recovery and discovery of the opportunities ahead!

Norwich University Online
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This post was written by William Clements, PhD

William “Bill” Clements, PhD, wears several hats at Norwich University. In addition to serving as Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS), he is the College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and a professor in the undergraduate criminal justice program. Prior to becoming Dean in 2005, he was the founding director of the Master of Justice Administration program and the executive director of the Vermont Center for Justice Research, an institutional research partner of Norwich University. Dean Clements began his Norwich career in 1987 as a criminal justice professor and was among the first Norwich professors to integrate online instruction and web-based resources into his teaching. In 1999, he piloted a mobile computing initiative with undergraduate criminal justice majors and was subsequently involved in developing the online graduate program model, which today serves several thousand students across several master’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree completion program, and a variety of certificate and enrichment programs.