Joseph M. Incandela, Ph.D.
professor & academic administrator
Find samples below of significant projects I have led and reports I have written as an administrator.
Sophia Program Curriculum Guide: For four years, I chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on General Education. I then wrote and illustrated the document that serves as the authoritative source for the revised general education program at Saint Mary's. This document was approved unanimously by the Saint Mary's College Board of Trustees in April, 2010. For an introduction to the Sophia program, please see this brochure and a section of the 2012 Academic Guide for First-Year Students, both of which I assisted in composing and designing.
Experiential Learning Report: I was the chair of the Experiential Learning Task Force and the principal author for this document and all its appendices.
Faculty Course Load Report: I was the chair of the Faculty Load Sub-Committee and the principal author for this document, which formed the basis of the proposal that went to the Saint Mary's Board of Trustees in Spring, 2013. It marked the first real progress in load reduction in 25 years.
A good academic administrator often works in the quiet, and can be unappreciated, precisely because they are working behind the scenes to protect their faculty and the classroom from the ever-encroaching reach of less visionary administrators. Joe is all of these things. He is a wonderful and much loved administrator because he is first and foremost a wonderful human being who values, even loves, the liberal arts college. He was a teacher before he was an administrator. He can design, implement, and oversee tremendously complex programs. He can encourage his faculty colleagues to engage when they are reluctant, even as he takes work upon himself so that the energies of the faculty can be expended where most needed, in the classroom. Joe is a wise leader.
—William Svelmoe, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Professor & Chair of the History Department
Joe Incandela achieved what many of us regarded as impossible--shepherding an extensively revised general education curriculum through the approval process involving all levels of the college community. He did so with intelligence, diplomacy, patience, and thoroughness.
—Gail Mandell, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Professor Emerita & Schlesinger Chair in Humanistic Studies
I have known Dr. Incandela since he came to Saint Mary’s College in the late 1980’s and have worked very closely with him during his tenure as Associate Dean of Faculty. I have the highest respect for Dr. Incandela. . . . Dr. Incandela has also compiled an impressive record of administrative accomplishments. In my mind, the most important achievement was his ability to lead the faculty in a significant revision of the general education curriculum, the first successful revision in over thirty years. We now have a curriculum that reflects our mission. Dr. Incandela possesses many of the traits that we expect from a good administrator-- highly organized, strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail without losing sight of the bigger picture. More important, he possesses qualities that put him in the league of “best” administrators—genuine respect for others, integrity, good judgment. While I hope that Dr. Incandela will remain at the College, I realize that he is ready for a higher level of administration. For these reasons I strongly recommend him.
—Susan Vanek, Saint Mary's College, Associate Dean for Advising Emerita
As our associate Dean of Faculty, Joe was instrumental in guiding the college through the revision of our college general education curriculum. Our new program, The Sophia Program in Liberal Learning, has been recognized outside our community as one the best in the country. As we implement it, I continue to be amazed at the depth of learning it invites from our students, and by the integration of abilities and knowledge it asks of them. Frankly, I have never felt more excited to walk into a classroom, more eager to improve my teaching, or more blessed to be a teacher as I have since we began to implement Sophia this year. I believe Joe is largely responsible for this. Without any exaggeration, I believe that Dr. Joe Incandela is among the greatest thinkers, teachers, and college administrators of our day, and any institution would be blessed to count him in its ranks.
—Susan Baxter, Saint Mary's College, Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies
It was not until the [Faculty Load Working Group] became the charge of Joe that the group met and produced a report, of which he was the main author. The members of the working group made suggestions to the report that Joe shared with us. Joe applies all his energies to any task at hand. He completes projects in a timely manner. Having worked with Joe on some committees, I have observed other qualities he possesses that make him a good administrator. Joe is an ethical man. I have heard him speak on social responsibility, and it is clear that he has a strong value system. Joe not only speaks with integrity, but he acts with integrity. This is a quality that instills trust between faculty and their administration.
—Joanne Snow, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Professor Emerita, Math Department
In my 9 years of working with Joe at Saint Mary's College he has been an insightful, inspirational, and thoughtful academic administrator. I served at the Chair of the college's Curriculum Committee for three consecutive years, something that would have been completely inconceivable without Joe's leadership, organization, and communication. Amazingly, despite all of the politics, despite all of the complex situations, despite the countless pages of documentation, Joe maintains a sense of humor that puts everyone at ease and motivates them to work WITH him, not FOR him. He's clear, rational, articulate, and downright brilliant. Perhaps the most telling part of any recommendation is that I will be truly heart-broken to see him leave. He would make a wonderful Academic Dean/Administrator at any institution.
—Ryan Dombkowski, Ph.D., Trine University, School of Health Sciences
A committed educator, Joe Incandela is a man of integrity who calls his community to its highest imagination of itself. He has a record of achievement and getting things done in very difficult situations.
—Patrick White, Ph.D., President Emeritus of Millikin University
My first interactions with Dr. Incandela were during the interview process for my position at Saint Mary’s College. I knew instantly that Saint Mary’s was the right place for me based on the level of support I knew I would receive with him as my first supervisor in this new role. He was instrumental in ensuring my first year at the College was a very successful one. He fully supported me and our office by providing exceptional guidance, oversight, and leadership while we worked together to establish the Career Crossings Office. Without his leadership in these early stages and continued support, the CCO would certainly not be the success that it is today! Dr. Incandela has superb listening, analytical, and problem-solving skills that are guided by his values and passion for liberal arts education. He is an administrator who can effortlessly build rapport with students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds and disciplines. He is naturally gifted at forming relationships because he values the uniqueness of each individual and has the ability to meet people where they are. He is creative, witty, and infuses humor in a way that helps make committee work much less tedious and more enjoyable. Dr. Incandela is an outstanding supervisor, administrator, colleague, and professional!
—Stacie Jeffirs, Saint Mary's College, Director of the Career Crossings Office
[Joe Incandela] is the most diligent, organized, and fair administrator I have ever worked with, tireless in his willingness to provide help, answer questions, and make processes as transparent as possible. His supervision of the revision of our general education program was masterful and the most important reason for success was his ability to listen, build support, and not react defensively when proposals were challenged. Proposals that went to his desk got dealt with quickly, clearly, and, as noted, fairly.
—Marc Belanger, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Professor, Political Science Department
My previous supervisors were wonderful people, but you were the first to take the time to make sure the needs of the Writing Center were always met, including getting the Center its own budget, increasing our funds as needed, pushing for tutor evaluation forms (which I dreaded, but which have been extremely helpful for many reasons), as well as helping me obtain an increase in the tutors' salaries and hours. In the past, I often felt as though I were on my own. Since I've been working for you, I feel as though I'm part of a team.
—Kathy Thomas, Saint Mary's College, Former Director of the Writing Center
In his role as Associate Dean, he approaches new projects with enthusiasm and dedication that is infectious. In addition to being a strong leader, Joe is a supportive colleague, encouraging collaboration and growth and development in colleagues. He is a kind and compassionate leader who retains the ability to guide others toward a shared goal.
—Jessica Ickes, Florida Institute of Technology, Vice President of Compliance and Accreditation
I find that refreshing these days. Dr. Incandela truly lives a "servant leadership" role in administration---very rare, and I highly value this approach. He is an inspiring leader who will be extremely valuable in an academic institution with similar values. Very very rarely do I give a recommendation with such high accolades!
—JoAnn Burke, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Professor Emerita, Social Work
I had the opportunity to work closely with Joe on the committee charged with creating a new General Education Program at Saint Mary's College. He guided the 4 year long process and I can attest to the fact that he honored both the task and the process. He truly listens. He is thoughtful and insightful. He demonstrated excellent collaboration skills a leader needs in order to make major institutional change happen. These skills lead to trust and trust provides the foundation for an organization to move forward. Joe Incandela is a leader who inspires trust and who can move an institution forward.
—Catherine Green, Ph.D., Saint Mary's College, Saint Mary's College, Emerita Associate Professor of Education
Joe is a true leader with a vision focused on how to continually enhance the liberal education his students receive. He is wise, creative and brings perhaps one of the most essential gifts of all--inspiration. Joe inspires the best in those who collaborate with him ultimately leading to a better institution of higher education as a result. His gifts are many and accomplishments significant.
—Daniel Flowers, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Assistant Director of Development
Joe has served as Associate Dean of Faculty for as long as I have known him. He is organized, intelligent, and easy to work with.... He is a front-runner on our campus in the use of technology as a tool for organization and communication.... His excellent follow-through, professionalism, and communication skills are unmatched on our campus. Furthermore, his positive attitude makes others around him better.
—Todd Norris, Saint Mary's College, Chief Information Officer
Simply put, you are the best dean we've ever had. As an administrator, you've been a visionary, not content to let us wallow in the "woe is us" existence which some of us descend to because we believe in what we do but don't always get a lot of majors. You have always been proactive since the minute you walked in the door, and never let the dust settle too much. As a person, you have been scrupulously fair with us. always explaining why things were being done, and always hearing out other points of view. Thank you so much for your steady leadership. Thank you for everything you have done for the college, and most of all, thank you for your friendship which I feel deeply in my heart. We will miss what you bring to all of us.
—Pete Seely, Benedictine University, Professor, Communication Studies
You are an extraordinary leader, the embodiment of everything a university, particularly a Catholic one should be. You have been committed to academic excellence and promoting the social justice teachings of the church, building and living community. What an honor and privilege it has been to work with and know you.
—Fannie Rushing, Benedictine University, Professor, History
Joe, you have done so much to professionalize our College’s operations and improve its offerings. In my time at BenU, Benedictine has never had an academic leader of your caliber. You have been the best kind of leader: visionary, efficacious, supportive, appreciative, and strong. I pray that the College of Liberal Arts without you at its helm will indeed continue to work at its high level. If I express doubt about that prospect it’s only by way of saying how special and irreplaceable I know you to be.
—Martin Tracey, Benedictine University, Professor and Chair, Philosophy