Open sessions to interview potential interim dean

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The College of Arts and Humanities will have interviews with candidates for a new interim dean this coming week.

Anita Shelton, chair of the history department, will have her interview 10 a.m. Monday and English professor Suzie Parker will be interviewed 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Both open sessions are in 4440 Booth Library.

Richard England, the dean of the Honors College, said the candidates were judged by the committee to be the best out of the applicants.

“They both have different strengths and weaknesses and we thought it would be good to give them both a chance to have open sessions,” England said.

England said there will be an open session for College of Arts and Humanities chairs to meet with the candidates and then another open session right afterward for the faculty and staff who will be working underneath the potential interim dean.

The sessions are intended to invite open discussion in order for participants to get a sense of the candidates’ vision for the college and ask questions regarding experience, plans or how they might deal with different types of situations.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the questions of the discussions,” England said.

Since this is an interim dean position, England said the process for searching for candidates was similar to a typical job search with slight modifications.

“The provost appointed a committee to investigate,” England said. “I’m on it and then there are seven other faculty and staff members from the College of Arts and Humanities on the committee.”

After sending out applications and interviewing all the applicants, the committee picked two candidates and put those two forward to go to the next stage, England said.

England said participants at the open sessions can fill out evaluation sheets that will be sent on to the committee.

The committee will look at the evaluations and make a recommendation to the Blair Lord, the vice president of academic affairs.

England said appointing a dean falls upon the provost and the president but the committee is a way to know what the faculty and staff are thinking about the different candidates.

England said the search process is consultative and the job itself is important, therefore it is important to get the best person.

“That’s why we did the research process,” England said.

England said the candidates can expect responsibilities similar to any other dean in any of the academic colleges.

“They are responsible for the entire academic operation of the college, they have to manage faculty workload and any other issues that deal with faculty and ultimately the student experience in the college,” England said.

England said they are also have to think about the distribution of resources in a time when resources are tight and that can be a challenging task.

“In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences has a sort of extra dimension to this because the dean of that college is in charge of the Doudna program,” England said.  “That includes the academic portion of students who are in the fine arts and ultimately having responsibility for the people who are booking the visiting artists and shows that are coming in.”

England said the job is complex but it has been done well by a variety of people from different backgrounds.

England said it would be nice to search for a permanent candidate but under the current circumstances he is looking for a good leader in the short term to watch over the college.

“When we’re in a slightly better place, we’ll look for permanent dean,” England said.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]