College of Liberal Arts dean candidate comes to Eastern


Corryn Brock

Robert Compton Jr., a dean candidate for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences laughs during the open session held in Booth Library Wednesday. Compton is one of three candidates for the position that will be hosted at Eastern this month.

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The first candidate for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean search was hosted Wednesday morning and took questions during an open session from faculty and staff.

The candidate, Robert Compton Jr., the chair of Africana and Latino Studies and professor of Africana and Latino Studies and Political Science at State University of New York, College at Oneonta.

The college has around 6,000 students.

In his vita Compton states in his current position he is “responsible for providing academic and administrative leadership and oversight of the department to include hiring and mentoring new faculty, administration of the departmental budget, spearheading and shepherding curricular revisions, course sequencing and planning, program review and academic program assessment, and departmental strategic planning.”

Compton described himself as sensible man.

“I’m not here to say I have this grand vision and solution to all of your problems, but whoever you hire, if you happen hire me and I’m lucky enough to get the job…I’m pretty much a down-to-Earth kind of a person and I always like to think what would happen if I was in your shoes,” Compton said. “My philosophy has always been that I would never seek an administration position that an institution in a place where I rose through the ranks… it’s not like I’m one of those administrative climbers.”

Compton discussed with those in attendance his previous interactions with administrators including creating monthly newsletters to keep fellow faculty and staff informed about the campus administration.

“Sometimes they got up to 40 pages with subsequent articles, some of it hard-hitting. They always wanted to put it online but when I was there it was print because I’ve always thought that it’s priceless when someone is reading an article and an administrator is walking by; it creates a precedence,” Compton said. “As you can tell my goal has never been to become an administrator. We’ve done some very interesting things, protests in the quad for example to get Labor Day (off)…we did a whole bunch of things.”

Compton also discussed his thoughts on students studying abroad.

“International education is one of my major interests,” he said.

Compton said he has taken students abroad on more than one occasion and that he finds it important.

“Some parts of the world are actually very difficult to sell. With South Africa there’s always a concern of safety and I always tell them, ‘look I go there every year, sometimes twice a year and I’m standing. The world is not a dangerous place,” Compton said. “There’s always this fear factor that quite a few students have about going abroad or that it’s expensive, but scholarships in particular can play a big role.”

Compton said one of things that impresses him with Eastern is the number of international students at the university.

“One thing that I do note is that your international ed. office has been quite successful at bringing students from abroad here,” Compton said. “I’ve seen that there are about 300 some students from abroad annually whereas at Oneonta it’s 100 and we’re about the same student body size.”

Eastern will host the second CLAS dean candidate, Barbara Bonnekessen, tomorrow with an open session in the 4440 room of Booth Library.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]