During a faculty meeting in the Weyerhaeuser Boardroom on Tuesday, Feb. 9, Provost Karine Moe announced that the future Dean of Faculty Diversity and Development (DFDD) and the Dean of the Institute of Global Citizenship (IGC) will be combined into one position, which will involve the hiring of at least one associate dean as well. The search process for the new position remains on hold, and is in its preliminary stages with a title, position description, and potential hiring date all still in the works.
The DFDD position was first devised in fall 2014 in anticipation of the departure of Jane Rhodes, the Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. It has undergone a number of revisions in terms of both position description and the nature of the recruiting process. In an email to the student body on Jan. 21, Moe announced that she was pausing the search for the DFDD.
“Given the recent resignation of the IGC Dean, we are presented with a unique opportunity to reconsider the synergies possible between these two positions,” Moe wrote in the email. “I look forward to working with the college community to reconsider how we might use these positions to strengthen the college’s commitment to multiculturalism, internationalism and service to society.”
In an interview on Jan. 25, Moe had stated that she would not be releasing further information until the faculty meeting, and that the two positions would not necessarily be combined.
“Having these two positions open at the same time — that’s never happened before. And so this [is] a chance to reflect strategically on the two positions and how we might structure them together,” she said. “So I don’t want to say definitively that they won’t become the same, or they will become the same… I think, right now, I want to have a conversation with faculty and staff and students to think strategically about it.”
It appeared on Tuesday that Moe had made a decision, if only a preliminary one, by combining the DFDD and the IGC Dean, a decision which she said had been backed by the DFDD search committee. Moe again explained the choice to combine the DFDD and IGC Dean as a means of integrating the four pillars of the College’s mission—academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and service to society—into a single position.
Because this position would be the equivalent of two jobs, Moe said she envisions an associate dean structure in the IGC. Associate deans would be appointed out of the faculty, on a rotating basis, as part-time administrative staff and part-time faculty, and would be compensated through course releases.
The job description for the DFDD that was finalized in November would entail collaboration with the IGC Dean, the Director of the Jan Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching, the Dean of Multicultural Life and the Title IX Coordinator/Director of Equity. The DFDD would also “[sit] at the nexus of affirmative action policies, curricular innovation and faculty development initiatives in matters of diversity and multiculturalism.”
The newly reimagined position, of course, would require some alteration of that description.
Meanwhile, the main IGC Dean would oversee the IGC as a whole, as well as responsibilities regarding faculty diversity and development. They would also work closely with the Dean of the Career Development Center and the Director of International Student Programs.
As of now, it is unclear when hires will actually be made for these positions.
“We’d like the process to move quickly, but I’d rather take the time to get it right. I want to get the job description right; I want to get the best pool of candidates that we can, rather than to move quickly and expediently instead of not thinking through what the job might actually require,” Moe said. “So, while I hope that we would have a new Dean in place by September, I think it’s probably more realistic to expect a start date either of January or June of 2017.”
The search for the DFDD or any other new position remains suspended. However, Moe has asked the search consulting firm who helped develop the DFDD description to talk with some remaining candidates from the last search about continuing their candidacy.
It is also unclear who will be the IGC Dean next semester, although Moe says that she is discussing possibilities with Paul Overvoorde, who is serving as the interim IGC Dean following Christy Hanson’s departure last year. Overvoorde is also collaborating with Kendrick Brown, who will be leaving his position as Associate Dean of the Faculty in May, in the event that he takes over Brown’s role next semester.
At the end of her speech to the faculty, Moe cited recent interviews with potential tenure-track faculty as reminders of the importance of the College’s mission. She continued to stress the interconnectedness of the four pillars of the mission, pointing out that none should be privileged over the others.
“I think we’ve often portrayed these three core values [multiculturalism, internationalism, service to society] as pillars–this overarching academic excellence with these [other] pillars. And I think, at least, in my opinion, over the past 20 years, we’ve often treated them as separate, and in some ways competing ideals on campus,” Moe said. “I also believe, though, that we’ve been moving steadily forward, towards a deeper understanding of how internationalism and US multiculturalism are inextricably linked … and I also think that this new position for the Dean moves us yet another step forward towards that end.”