The School For New Learning
Program Portfolio
Back To Processes and Activities Page

Susanne M. Dumbleton, Ph.D.
Dean, The School for New Learning

Since Susanne Dumbleton became dean of DePaul's School for New Learning (SNL), the school was named one of six "best practice" institutions in North America by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the American Productivity and Quality Center. Touted for its individualized education of adult students, SNL offers accelerated undergraduate and graduate degrees that the students help design. The interdisciplinary, competency-based approach draws on the talents of more than 34 faculty members within SNL, as well as professors throughout the university and 200 practicing professionals around the region.

Taking the school's successful adult education model to the Internet, Dumbleton led the development of SNL's online degree program. Students from around the world choose from more than 40 courses offered exclusively online, interacting with faculty, fellow students and their faculty mentor. The program enrolled more than 300 students when first offered in fall of 2001 and it continues to grow.

She also created The Center for Collaboration, which partners with corporations, community groups, governmental agencies and philanthropic organizations to create on-site degree programs for adults. She also oversaw expansion of SNL's course offerings to DePaul's new campuses in Naperville, Lake Forest and Rolling Meadows.

Under Dumbleton's guidance, SNL became an accredited, non-governmental organization of the United Nations in 1998. She then leveraged that relationship to persuade Pakistani Ambassador Ahmad Kamal to regularly teach courses entirely through classroom video conferencing, providing students with a global viewpoint on numerous topics.

Continuing her global outreach, Dumbleton established a bachelor's degree program in Hong Kong, paving the way for students to earn master's degrees through DePaul's graduate business program there. She also consulted extensively with the University of the Orange Free State, helping create a program modeled after SNL in post-apartheid South Africa.

A frequent consultant on adult education and assessment of prior learning, she speaks regularly to groups ranging from employer networks in South Africa to the Penn State Conference on Community Outreach and CAEL.

Dumbleton came to the university after serving as vice president for academic affairs from 1994 to 1996 at National University in San Diego, a private, non-profit institution serving working adults. While there, she coordinated programs of the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Services, and Management and Technology across three regions.

Previously, she was dean of liberal arts at Regents College of the University of the State of New York from 1990 to 1994. She chaired the liberal arts department at the Albany College of Pharmacy of Union University, where she also taught English from 1976 to 1989. She also taught at LaSallete Seminary from 1973 to 1975 and was a fellow of SUNYA in 1966-67.

Dumbleton co-founded Washington Park Press in 1980 and remains its vice president. She has edited selected titles, including "O Albany!" by William Kennedy, which won an American Book Award in 1983. She has edited several books and has written numerous articles and reviews about literature, with particular attention to the intersection between fiction and non-fiction. She was part-time managing editor in 1987-88 and consulting associate editor 1988-90 at British American Publishing/Paris Review Editions.

She received her Ph.D. in English in 1973 at the State University of New York at Albany, where she also earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in English. She attended Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management in 1992, and Bryn Mawr's HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education in 1983.

She is on the board of directors for Lawson House, a single-room occupancy facility overseen by the YMCA of Chicago. Previously, she served on the board of governors of St. Margaret's House and Hospital for Babies in Albany, N.Y., and was its president from 1984 to 1988. She is a member of CAEL, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Continuing Higher Education, the American Association of Higher Education and the National University Continuing Education Association.