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Dean prepares for retirement

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 23:02

The dean who oversaw the combination of the East Tennessee State University’s colleges of business and technology will be retiring this semester.

Linda Garceau, dean of the East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology, said that she will miss many aspects of her job when she retires this semester.

Prominent among them, will be the opportunity to foster the growth and success of students, she said.

Regardless of her job location, Cleveland State University or East Tennessee State University, Garceau said that she has always enjoyed the positive influence her position had on the student body.

“ETSU enrollment is drawn from a student population in which many students may be first generation,” Garceau said. “Many are so transformed by the experience, and you get so involved in the aspects of their lives.”

Garceau’s desire to be involved encouraged the creation of many student-oriented services.

As the dean of business and technology, Garceau said that she used her administrative savvy to create a number of programs, spearhead the transfer of business classes to online formats and promote employability through an internal career services office.

Recently, she has participated in the creation of a bachelor of science in engineering, a program ETSU will offer in cooperation with Tennessee Tech.

Garceau worked as a business administrator for many years and was employed as the dean of the College of Business on July 1, 2000.

Garceau received a doctorate in information systems from Boston University’s School of Business and was selected to lead ETSU’s colleges of Business and Applied Science and Technology when they were combined in 2003.

Garceau worked in the Midwest and New England for the majority of her life and was provided with an opportunity to relocate when her children graduated from college.

She said that she had multiple offers on the table; however, she became aware of ETSU when one of her friends, a former ETSU alumnus, recommended that she apply for the open dean position.

“There was a degree of positivism with the people that I met, they were very committed to the educational experience,” Garceau said. “In a way I have always been associated with institutions that have placed a great deal of value on the education of their students.”

 Unfortunately, Garceau said that the necessity of her retirement was cemented by a couple of personal setbacks.

First, her friend and colleague Donald Jeanes, a former president of Milligan College, died suddenly of a heart attack.

This loss was soon followed by the revelation that her husband, Albert Garceau, would have to undergo a triple bypass surgery.

Her husband has since recovered, but these two events forced Garceau to rethink the continuation of her employment at ETSU.

She and her husband plan on using the next several months to travel. She said that they plan to spend time in China, France and Japan.

Currently, Garceau said that she does not plan to return to higher education; however, she concedes that her decision could eventually change.

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