Dean's Corner - Winter 2020

by William Clements, PhD on 11/9/20 11:15 AM

As I write, our students and faculty are hard at work finishing fall term courses and moving into the holiday season. To say that this fall has been an unusual time in higher education and for our country would be an understatement. I have been in higher education for many years with this fall far from normal given the impact of COVID-19 on university operations and, more tangibly, in our personal lives. The pursuit of online studies has proven to be a great benefit and provided stability in working toward academic and professional development goals during a time in which we regularly adapt and change course. Kudos to our students and faculty who have balanced professional development, education, their own jobs, and often responsibility for children or other family members. We are certainly living in a time that requires us to expect challenge, but also achieve distinction!

dean clements portrait

Every crisis contains opportunity and enlightenment. COVID-19 is no exception and offers us a lens through which to view education delivery, student and faculty support, and the development of new skills to enhance our organizational or individual effectiveness. I know we have learned quite a bit at the university level and within the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies as our staff pivoted to working remotely. We also pushed the boundaries of technology, while improving and discovering new technologies in the process. Circumstances have shifted how we communicate and I am sure by now that many of you have become proficient in the various online meeting platforms that now dominate our work lives! More important are business process improvements affecting how we can better serve our students and faculty; the long-term impact will be important. I estimate that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption and evolution of online learning by several years.

I am excited about four new programs the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies will be launching this academic year with our new Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Practitioner program scheduled to start in December. Additionally, the Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Information Systems, and the Master of Accounting will start next spring.

For those pursing completion of their bachelor’s degree, three new online programs launched this fall in the areas of business administration, data analytics, and computer science and information systems. Visit our website at for more information about these programs, which join our roster of programs designed to serve working adults to enhance their career opportunities and development.

Professional development offerings through Norwich Pro® continue to grow. Many of our alumni have taken advantage of this new resource for personal and professional development. An increasingly wide range of courses, micro-certificates, and full-length certificates are available as are discounts for active duty military and alumni. I look forward to the continued growth of Norwich Pro and hope to see you either virtually or in person at professional development events when conventional interaction is able to fully resume.

I am also pleased to let you know that the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies is coming to Denver as soon as COVID-19 conditions permit more robust activity. We have opened an office in downtown Denver to better serve our students and alumni in the Rocky Mountain and western regions as well as to support undergraduate residential student internship experiences. I would like to hear from our alumni and students in the Denver area and look forward to expanding our degree programs, continuing, and professional education opportunities there and in our online forums this year. Feel free to write me at

Best wishes for the holiday season. The third century of Norwich University service to the nation is well underway despite the pandemic!

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.