After more than four decades dedicated to education, Craig Douglas is retiring from work — but he has no plans to step away from his community.
Douglas retired this month as dean of Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Education, where he served since 2015. He joined SVSU in 2014 as director of the School and University Partnership office after spending the previous 38 years largely in K-12 education, including 18 years as superintendent of Carrollton Public Schools.
Associate Provost David Callejo Pérez, who joined SVSU in 2009, will serve as interim dean as the university searches for Douglas’ permanent replacement.
Deborah Huntley, SVSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said Douglas’ leadership was critical to keeping the College of Education responsive to the changing demands of the state’s K-12 education industry. She was equally confident in his successor.
“Craig has been instrumental in recognizing challenges and answering with strategies that have strengthened our academic programs and community partnerships in the education field,” Huntley said.
“His work here will positively impact educators and students long after his retirement. David understands that legacy and possesses the energy, knowledge and work ethic to keep the College of Education moving forward.”
Douglas expressed gratitude to Huntley and SVSU President Don Bachand for supporting his work at the university. Douglas said he was proud of many accomplishments earned during his tenure as dean, attributing those victories to a team effort.
“I didn’t do any of it alone,” he said. “I’m most proud of the way so many people came together — staff, faculty, students, other deans, the region’s school leaders — to step up and help us exceed expectations. There was a lot of synergy there.”
Douglas said he will remain engaged in the community.
He plans to continue serving as a trustee on Carrollton’s Board of Trustees, and as a member of both the Saginaw Valley Rotary Club and Carrollton Lions Club. He also hopes to become involved in assisting Emmaus House of Saginaw, an organization that aids in the transition period for women returning to their communities after spending time in jail, prison or rehabilitation centers. His wife, Joan Douglas, is an active volunteer with the organization.
“I look forward to continuing to devote time and energy to the Great Lakes Bay Region,” he said.
Douglas said he plans to stay in touch with his SVSU family and attend events there. He was quick to complement his interim successor.
“David is going to do a terrific job in transition,” Douglas said. “He has great ideas for ways to improve efficiencies, utilize technologies and continue to develop our accelerated degree program.”
Callejo Pérez joined SVSU in 2009 as the Carl A. Gerstacker Endowed Chair for the College of Education. In 2014, he was named associate provost at the university.
He received his Ed.D. from Florida International University in 2000, a master’s degree in history from the University of Mississippi in 1995, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Florida International University in 1993.
Previously, he served as an educator at West Virginia University, Barry University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Callejo Pérez said he was looking forward to continuing to build SVSU’s reputation as a provider of talent for the education market.
“The challenges ahead involve shifting from a job market that was very tight to one that has a lot of demand for teachers,” he said.
“The College of Education will continue to help fill that void. Our impact can be beyond measure if we work together and commit our talents to be stewards of education in the region.”