The Hunt for A New Dean of the College

Following Dean of the College (DOC) Adam Weinberg’s resignation in December, President Rebecca Chopp enlisted Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Economics Jill Tienfenthaler to lead a committee to fill his position. The 11-member committee cuts across class years, academic disciplines and administrative departments to ensure that a range of views is represented. The committee is composed of senior Amy Dudley, sophomore Will Redmond, Associate Professor of Psychology Rebecca Shiner, Associate Professor of Geology Peter Klepeis, Associate Professor of English Hank Lewis, Associate Professor of Economics Jyoti Khanna, Vice President and Senior Philanthropic Adviser Bob Tyburski, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies Jaime Nolan, Director of the Counseling Center Mark Thompson, Tienfenthaler and Trustee Ron Burton. In an effort to incorporate the voice of the greater community into the selection process, the committee began its search by asking about the qualities they wished to see in the new dean.”[From the responses], our committee has prioritized the qualities that the community wants in the next DOC,” Tienfenthaler said. “We see the following seven as essential: commitment to diversity; championing of the academic enterprise; understanding and appreciation of the co-curricular experience as it has been articulated in the Residential Education plan at Colgate; genuine relationship and community building; talent in communicating; “thick skin” – the ability to handle conflict and confrontation; very effective management with vision and the ability to follow through.”The committee is currently reviewing applications and faces the challenging task of reducing the number of applications from 70 to about 10.Because the desired qualities are difficult to detect from applications, the committee also bases their judgment on the verbal recommendations of references, in addition to the resum?es and applications.”On February 27 through the 28, we hope to conduct airport interviews in Syracuse,” Tienfenthaler said. “By talking to [applicants] in person, we will be able to get a better sense of their individual personalities and values.”After careful reflection and consideration of the interviews, the top three or four candidates will be invited to visit campus in mid-March. These visits will give candidates the opportunity to get a feel for Colgate and, in turn, the committee will be able to observe how each candidate responds to his or her potential new home. Only after this meticulous screening process is complete will a new DOC be selected. If all goes according to plan, President Chopp will make an offer to the top candidate in late March and Colgate will have a new dean for the 2006-2007 academic year.