THE MCFARLAND YEARS
(JANUARY 2011 – MAY 2012)
On January 10, 2011, Mrs. Katrina McFarland replaced Frank Anderson as president of DAU. During her tenure, Mrs. McFarland has worked hard to drive down cost for the department as a whole by training the Defense Acquisition Workforce on the Under Secretary’s Better Buying Power Initiatives. These initiatives include teaching the workforce to target affordability, promoting competition, incentivizing productivity, and reducing non-productive processes. Additionally, she helped create a more qualified workforce by standing up an on-the-job learning construct for the workforce.
THE ANDERSON YEARS
(OCTOBER 2000 – JULY 2010)
In June 2000, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics approved the move of DAU headquarters from Alexandria, VA to Fort Belvoir, VA to be co-located with DSMC to further reduce operating costs. At this time, General Anderson was retiring from the Air Force and selected to be the civilian leader of DAU. As president of DAU, he continually aligned the university with its stakeholders, further refined the course curriculum and pushed the smart use of technology throughout the university. Mr. Anderson also was tapped to be the Director of Human Capital Initiatives for AT&L. In this capacity, he was responsible for strategic planning, policy, and program responsibility for the Defense Acquisition Workforce.
THE ANDERSON YEARS
(JULY 1999 — OCTOBER 2000)
Brigadier General Frank J. Anderson, Jr., USAF, became the fifteenth commandant on July 30, 1999. General Anderson was the driving force in transitioning the Defense Systems Management College into the 21st century. His tenure as the Commandant, DSMC, and Vice President was marked with institutional changes to meet the needs of the acquisition community, and this was most evident in his successful efforts to capitalize on information technology capabilities to substantially reduce training costs. His guidance to make more courses directly available to the workforce through technology led to dramatic increases in graduates. He was the driving force behind the entirely revamped education career ladder for the acquisition management and program management career fields.
General Anderson recognized the value of partnerships. He forged numerous strategic alliances with private-sector educational institutions and defense industry fostering a better understanding of the acquisition environment. Additionally, he implemented internal efficiencies and was the chief architect in consolidating the Headquarters, DAU at Fort Belvoir, VA, where co-location with DSMC developed stronger working relationships.
THE L. VINCENT YEARS
(DECEMBER 1997 — JULY 1999)
On December 30, 1997 Rear Admiral Leonard “Lenn” Vincent, SC, USN, became the fourteenth commandant. Admiral Vincent’s legacy to the acquisition community included accessible updated course material and digital publications. These actions made continuous learning and DSMC world-class educational materials available to member of the Acquisition Workforce.
During his tenure, he ensured that efficiencies in research, consulting, information, and education were achieved through reduced training costs and travel expenses, cooperative joint curriculum development with other members of DAU, and improved methods of information technology. Admiral Vincent also encouraged consulting, research, and information dissemination by sponsoring special events, symposia, and process action teams.
He increased the interface with the Military Services to ensure DSMC products met their needs. Additionally, the College improved its computer network, automated its registration services, and converted entry-level course material to computer-based instruction. To ensure continued quality management of information products and services, he created a corporate information/knowledge office, charged with high-level oversight of information resources, to promote DSMC’s connection to the world in useful, productive ways. He also enhanced the transition of DSMC into DAU, and his business acumen, level-headed decision making, and team spirit greatly improved morale and efficiency within the College.
THE BLACK YEARS
(MARCH 1996 — DECEMBER 1997)
Brigadier General Richard A. Black, USA, became the thirteenth commandant on March 28, 1996. General Black focused the exceptional capabilities of DSMC staff and faculty on the rapidly changing needs of the acquisition workforce. Under his leadership, the College developed a set of strategic initiatives that greatly increased the quality and expanded the scope of acquisition education and training.
As he anticipated the continuing need to reduce costs, he guided the College toward providing educational products and services closer to the workforce and their places of work, bringing more courses to workforce population centers. This initiative led to the opening of the DSMC Mid-Atlantic Region.
He further challenged the College to develop a distance learning program that capitalized on off-the-shelf technology, leading to the timely implementation of video Tele-Teaching and computer-based instruction that took full advantage of the DSMC regional operations structure.
THE CREAN YEARS
On November 21, 1994, Kaminski who had just become
USD(A&T) a month before, appointed Thomas Crean as DAU’s first, full-time President. Crean had previously served as Commandant of the Army Judge Advocate School and Dean for Administrative and Civil Law, and had experience as a military lawyer involved with the legal issues of procurement.
THE BOLTON YEARS
(MARCH 1993 — MARCH 1996)
Brigadier General Claude M. Bolton, Jr., USAF, became the twelfth commandant on March 25, 1993. He started the College on its “Quality Journey,” aligning people, systems, and resources. Through process management metrics, DSMC improved its products and services, reduced costs, and implemented strategic planning based on outcomes.
General Bolton also emphasized curriculum improvements, electronic teaching methodologies, and adult learning styles. His support of the “electronic campus” concept marked DSMC’s entry into the “information age.”
He chaired the Acquisition Management Functional Board, and led efforts to fully implement the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) during the creation of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). General Bolton personally ensured collaboration throughout the consortium and encouraged members to share their best practices.
THE W. VINCENT YEARS
(JULY 1991 — MARCH 1993)
Rear Admiral William L. Vincent, USN, became the eleventh commandant on July 26, 1991. He was the first Program Management Course graduate to serve as commandant. The improved faculty, facilities, and increased student throughput were the most significant events during Admiral Vincent's tenure and in addition to his full-time duties as commandant, he chaired the congressionally mandated advisory panel on streamlining and codifying acquisition law. The panel's recommended changes formed the basis of reform of the acquisition process.
In 1993, Admiral Vincent established the DSMC Press and integrated the College’s publications into the DSMC academic curricula. DSMC publications were now readily available to the acquisition community and general public.
THE STEVENS YEARS
(APRIL 1988 — JULY 1991)
Major General Lynn H. Stevens, USA, became the tenth commandant on April 29, 1988. An enduring commitment to improve the acquisition process characterized his tenure, and under his leadership, the quality of faculty improved and student throughput increased. General Stevens also brought renewed focus on research and consulting. In 1991, he secured ownership of the buildings surrounding the campus quadrangle. Both buildings were transferred to DSMC and renovated into classroom and faculty office spaces.
THE CABELL YEARS
(SEPTEMBER 1985 — APRIL 1988)
Brigadier General Charles P. Cabell, Jr., USAF, became the ninth commandant on September 27, 1985. General Cabell came to the College during its fifteenth year, when registration was at an all-time high. During his tenure, he established and maintained the highest possible standards of academic excellence, while guiding a 50 percent increase in the size of the student body. He personally directed several highly innovative efforts within the College’s education process and brought the curricula ever closer to real-world situations. He modified operations to accommodate Public Law, which required all program managers of major systems to attend the Program Management Course prior to taking on their new duties.
THE JOHNSON YEARS
(APRIL 1984 — DECEMBER 1985)
Rear Admiral Roger D. Johnson, USN, became the eighth commandant on April 12, 1984. Admiral Johnson believed there was a greater need for the College than was first realized. The steadily increasing complexity and cost of modern defense systems, the complexity of the process used to acquire defense systems, and a rash of unfavorable publicity directed at DoD concerning overpriced spares validated his belief. Under his leadership, regional centers continued to expand and the five-month Program Management Course continued to be refined. In November 1984, Admiral Johnson initiated a study to explore using advanced educational technologies in the classroom. Results of the study and opportunities available to enhance the program management educational process led to the establishment of an automated classroom. In June 1985, the first Zenith (Z-100) computers arrived on campus. They were distributed to give the staff and faculty a daily on-the-job computer capability.
THE FORBURGER MONTHS
(JANUARY 1984 — APRIL 1984)
Prior to his appointment as seventh commandant, Colonel Thomas V. Forburger, USA, served as the deputy commandant, and as the Dean, Department of Administration and Support. During his two month tenure, Colonel Forburger maintained high visibility for the programs his predecessors initiated and even personally appeared before the subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to justify a new classroom facility and saved the facility from being disapproved in the final fiscal 1984 budget.
Colonel Forburger initiated the process of providing formal feedback from the field so that the College could better support all DoD components. He recognized the users’ importance to College programs and instituted a procedure for coordinating changes to the curricula and the research program with the systems acquisition community.
THE PELLEGRINI YEARS
(JANUARY 1982 — JANUARY 1984)
On Jan. 8, 1982, Brigadier General Benjamin J. Pellegrini, USA, became the College’s sixth commandant. The planned thrust of General Pellegrini’s years were best expressed in his interpretation of the three “R’s” — Resources, Realism, and Results, as listed below:
Earlier, in April 1981, the Defense Acquisition Improvement Program (DAIP) became a springboard for changes to the College’s acquisition management curricula. General Pellegrini worked to improve the quality of systems acquisition management education. As part of that effort, he reshaped the academic curricula, packaging many of the functional courses to provide managers with training in their specific functional specialties. In addition, he increased industry participation, conceived the alumni association, planned establishment of four regional centers, and planned for eventual automation of the College. Additionally, the research mission continued to expand under General Pellegrini’s command.
THE THURMAN YEARS
(JULY 1979 — NOVEMBER 1981)
Brigadier General William E. Thurman, USAF, assumed command on July 31, 1979.
To build on the momentum his predecessors established, he directed considerable effort toward keeping the faculty in touch with the acquisition management community and ensuring College resources were available to a wider segment of that community.
During his tenure, the College’s acquisition management research program was expanded. Ten new short courses were added; individual course offerings per annum increased; and a two-phased program designed to increase enrollment without an increase in temporary duty funding was initiated. General Thurman conceived DSMC 1984, a plan to meet the College’s long-range need for expanded student enrollment that would provide individual instruction to students at the various regional centers. The scope of the regional center grew. Each quarter, short courses were offered at regional centers located at the Service major acquisition commands in response to command needs.
The Executive Institute also became part of the College’s organizational structure. It was designed to be a medium through which the commandant could conduct liaison and promote interaction with elements of U.S. and allied governments, and the defense industry.
In the fall of 1981, General Thurman was tapped to head the B-1B program.
THE HANBY MONTHS
(APRIL 1979 — JULY 1979)
Colonel John B. Hanby, Jr., USA, took command of the College on April 23, 1979. Unlike past commandants, Colonel Hanby’s tour began on Aug. 4, 1975, four years prior to the start of his term as commandant. On that day, he assumed duties as deputy commandant. Although his term as commandant was short, Colonel Hanby continued to increase and promote the College’s academic standing.
Despite his short time as Commandant , he spent more than five years in senior leadership positions at the College.
THE FREEMAN YEARS
(JUNE 1977 — APRIL 1979)
Rear Admiral Rowland G. Freeman III, USN, took command on June 30, 1977.
Admiral Freeman’s years at the College were characterized by several bold initiatives:
In late March 1979, the faculty and staff learned that Admiral Freeman had been nominated by President Jimmy Carter for the position of Administrator of the General Services Administration. Admiral Freeman accepted the nomination and announced his retirement from the U.S. Navy, effective April 30, 1979, after 37 years of service.
THE ALBERT YEARS
(JULY 1974 — JUNE 1977)
On July 10, 1974, Brigadier General John G. Albert, USAF, was installed as the second commandant.
General Albert’s years were marked by improvements in the curricula, growth in class size, an increase in the number of courses offered, initiation of the west coast executive management courses, and outreach. He encouraged meetings with alumni and interaction with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, realigned the School’s organization, established a Library Advisory Council, fostered DSMS participation in the activities of the Acquisition Advisory Group, and initiated the Defense Systems Management Review.
A year before the end of General Albert’s tenure as commandant, he received a letter dated May 7, 1976, from Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements, who wrote: “…the level of instruction, the student and instructor quality, and the demonstrated excellence of DSMS graduates justify changing the name of your institution to the Defense Systems Management College. This would more appropriately recognize the scope and sophistication of the curricula, enhance the stature of the institution, and provide increased recognition of the qualifications of the graduates in both the civilian and military communities.”
As a result, the institution's name was officially changed to the Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) that year.
THE SCOTT YEARS
(FEBRUARY 1971 — JULY 1974)
On July 1, 1971, When he Defense Systems Management School (DSMS) opened and admitted the first students enrolled in the 20-week Program Management Course, and Brigadier General Winfield Scott III, USA, was ready for them. As the School’s first commandant, General Scott presided at opening ceremonies and paid tribute to those who prepared from conception to official opening.
Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, the opening ceremony key speaker, expressed great expectations of the School. “We want this school to become the Academy of Management for the Department and for all four Services,” he said. “We want it to be a school of high distinction where the best of modern management practices are taught. We want it to become a center of research for the improvement of managerial practices. We wanted it to be located in the Washington, DC area where it could have an influence on, and be influenced by, high-level people and policies of the Department.”
Secretary Packard had no way of knowing that when he spoke those words, he was giving voice to the vision that would guide the school for years to come.