By Ann Patton
Academy Spirit staff
Dean of the Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana Born re-ceived the Air Force’s 2009 Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award during a ceremony at the Pentagon Monday hosted by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.
The annual award, named after former Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert, recognizes general officers and senior executive service civilians for outstanding achievements in top-level Air Force management.
“It is an honor to receive this Secretary of the Air Force recognition, which more accurately reflects the collective accomplishments of all members of Team USAFA,” General Born said.
She praised her dedicated teammates at the Academy for their talents, dedication and passion for mission and people.
“It is to them we owe a special thanks as they share in this award and continue to support our noble Air Force mission both here and around the world,” she said.
General Born was cited for marked successes leading and managing the Air Force’s most comprehensive – and most scrutinized – education program, with 4,500 cadets, 20 academic departments, 1,100 courses and 720 faculty and staff.
During General Born’s six-year tenure, the Academy was recognized as the number-one undergraduate program in the West by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings. The Academy was also ranked in the top 1 percent for most accessible professors in the Princeton Review’s “Best 371 Colleges.”
She also pioneered the Academy’s shift to focus on learning rather than teaching and expanded diversity for faculty, staff and cadets, championing innovative methods to increase diversity to the Academy’s benefit. She is credited for building bridges with other military and civilian institutions and overseeing a thriving faculty and cadet research program valued at more than $50 million.
General Born developed management practices for Air Force-wide or major command acceptance and use, aligned core courses to Academy Outcomes and sequenced courses for enhanced cadet development.
The general refined procedures to ensure permanent profession selection methods complied with the Larson Report, a Congressionally mandated study published in 2004. She also refined a program to “re-blue” incumbent permanent professors through deployments to combat zones and key operational assignments.
Cultural immersion opportunities expanded during General Born’s tenure, with 40 cadets studying abroad and 570 cadets taking part with 96 faculty members in summer culture and language immersions in 39 countries. Ninety-six graduates from the Class of 2010 and 89 graduates from the Class of 2009 earned entry into graduate school as their first assignments.
Paramount among General Born’s achievements was the conceptualization, design and implementation of the widely heralded Officer Development System, which transformed the antiquated fourth-class system into one focused on character, professionalism and the warrior ethos. She also served as principal architect and chief catalyst in the creation of the cadet mentoring program and resurrecting the Air Officer Commanding master’s degree program.
General Born has also received a Legion of Merit medal for her superior vision, management and service as the dean of the faculty.