Macalester is in the midst of a search for the new Dean for the Institute of Global Citizenship (IGC). Associate Dean of the Faculty Paul Overvoorde was appointed Interim Dean earlier this semester after Christy Hanson left the position in December of last year. The new Dean will take on a revamped position by overseeing programs related to both internationalism and multiculturalism. Dean of Multicultural Life Chris MacDonald-Dennis, who is on the search team, said, “we realize that you cannot have one without the other.” This sentiment was echoed by Provost Karine Moe, who said, “the two are inextricably linked.”
“I always thought it odd that our three pillars were separated. We should be thinking of this as one thing. This analogy of the pillars felt very unnatural to me,” Moe said.
Previously, programs related to multiculturalism came under the Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, a position that became open with the resignation of Jane Rhodes in October of 2014. Then-Provost Kathy Murray convened a search committee, this time altering the job title to the Dean for Faculty, Diversity and Development (DFDD). During Murray’s tenure the search did not produce a “suitable candidate,” according to Moe, who continued the search. Moe hired a search consultant, and “we were on our way.” However, Hanson’s departure from the IGC last year prompted Moe to “take a step back” to re-examine the position. The search was put on hold, and Moe consulted the college community on the “idea that [she] had to take the work of the DFDD and fold it into the IGC,” an idea for which she received positive feedback.
“So the IGC is supposed to embody the vision of the college… but we had the DFDD who was handling the administrative functions that were related to diversity, and for many decades we had the internationalism dean and the multiculturalism dean,” Moe said. “I think that our thinking on campus has evolved to the point where we can’t think of those as separate.”
With the new leadership structure, Moe says the new Dean “is going to play a crucial role in our efforts to diversify our faculty.” To this end, she highlighted the importance of faculty retention, saying the new Dean has to be somebody “who has the skills to not only work with current departments on their hiring practices but with current faculty to work on our retention.”
During the search, MacDonald-Dennis said he emphasized to candidates that Macalester students personify both values of multiculturalism and internationalism at once. He said, “I believe students will really lead the way, because you all get it.” One area he feels students will be concerned about is retaining the experiential nature of IGC programs. He said, “I think that students feel the IGC is a place where they can take their headiness and make sense of it.” To this point, he hoped the next dean will see that Student Affairs “needs to be partners with faculty.”
Moe said the search drew a “sizeable applicant pool.” Three candidates have been shortlisted and will visit the college to share their relevant experience and plans for the IGC at public presentations open to the college community. At the end of each presentation, participants will be given a chance to rate the candidate. Thus far, there has been one presentation, which took place on November 2. The Mac Weekly is not permitted to report the candidates’ names due to promised confidentiality granted to the candidates. The second and third candidates will come to campus on November 14 and 17 respectively, and will be presenting in Davis Court at 4:45 p.m.
“I’m excited to work with all three candidates,” MacDonald-Dennis said.