Small College America is special four-part series in which we are going to talk with four Presidents across the United States about their institutions; what makes them unique and important to their communities. This week's episode we talk with Dr. Barry Ryan, President of Woodbury University in Burbank, California.
Joining us today is Dr. Barry Ryan, President of Woodbury University, with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students,
A first-generation college student, Dr. Ryan fell in love with higher education. He has served in virtually every education context, from large state universities to private non-profit and for-profit institutions of all sizes.
He has lengthy service as a faculty member and as a department chair, founder of a center for teaching and learning, dean, vice president, provost, and president.
Dr. Ryan is also an attorney. His legal service has included practice, law school teaching, and consulting. He is admitted to the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Courts of California and Virginia. He worked in the chambers of former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
Dr. Ryan earned his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.Div. from Fuller Seminary, his BA in History from Westmont College, and a post-graduate Diploma in Global Business from the Saïd School of Business, Oxford University.
Dean – Barry, Let’s start off by talking about Woodbury University. I believe it’s one of the oldest higher education institutions in Southern California. Can you do a brief profile of Woodbury your students and programs? What are some of the programs you are most noted for
Tom - A new study shows 50% of students attending colleges that close their doors do not continue their education. What role can/should small colleges & accreditors play in keeping more of these students continuing their education?
Dean - Small colleges are very different compared to larger institutions and state systems. Can you discuss some the challenges and advantages you see
Follow-up - Being a university trustee as well as being a President, How do you view the role of the Board of Trustees and its involvement with the institution?
Tom - How best can Presidents from smaller colleges and universities introduce and implement online classes/program degree programs and certificates?
Dean - Barry, most of your professional life has been in the field of higher education. What attracted you to a university career? Did you have mentors along the way, and what lessons did you learn from them about being a university leader?
Tom – As you know, enrollment of the traditional student has been declining across the United States, and more schools are closing or merging. How do you vision the future of smaller colleges and universities?