IGC continues search for new dean

By April Dejarlais

Macalester’s Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC) has been absent of a dean since the spring of 2010, and this semester the search is in full force. The dean search committee includes IGC student council members Chris Fowler ’12 and Louis Hendrix ’13, faculty members Nadya Nedelsky (International Studies), Beth Cleary (Theatre and Dance), Chad Topaz (Math and Computer Science), Martin Gunderson (Philosophy), Jane Rhodes (American Studies), and Associate Dean for Religious and Spiritual Life Lucy Forster-Smith. Provost Kathleen Murray created the search committee with a balance of students, faculty and staff in mind, Gunderson said. The committee began working with the Illinois-based search firm Witt/Kieffer this semester in order to make the process more efficient and fruitful than last year, when no dean was chosen out of the candidates selected. The firm actively seeks and contacts potential candidates, but applications are still accepted by Macalester. The search has proven difficult because of the demands of the IGC deanship, namely to tie together the IGC components of internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement at Macalester. The dean will also hold tenure and be required to teach two classes per academic year at the college, and must have a “superstar” scholarly record as well as administrative fundraising and budgeting skills, Fowler said. The new dean will hold the position for three to five years, but will continue teaching at Macalester past that. Previous professors, however, do not necessarily have an upper hand in the search. “It’s important that we consider non-traditional candidates,” Gunderson said. This month Macalester received 120 candidate profiles, which were divided into two categories of 22 stronger and 98 weaker prospects, Fowler said. This week the committee hopes to have narrowed the pool down to eight to twelve candidates. Applicants are interviewed by the search committee, the department faculty they would join, the Provost and President Rosenberg. The search committee is not despairing over last year’s lack of results, and hopes to solidify a dean choice by the end of this semester. “A long process does not equal failure,” Gunderson said. “Some people thought the search might take two years.” As students, Fowler and Hendrix are enthused at the prospect of a new dean, and both acknowledged that many Macalester students are critical of the IGC institution and the position. Hendrix became involved in the dean search by going to all four candidates’ speeches last year, and hopes that the new dean will “revive” student enthusiasm and discussion around the IGC. “I’m fascinated by the [IGC] institute and what it can be,” he said. “By becoming involved, I could understand it better myself.” “We didn’t get 120 candidates for nothing,” Fowler said, regarding criticism of the IGC. “People see the IGC as an amazing place.” “These constituent parts are important, but linkages haven’t been made,” Fowler said. The Internship Program staff, for example, has a full job description as it is, so to organize more international internships would be a stretch. “It’s essential that someone creates those linkages,” Fowler said. “We need someone to sell the IGC internally and externally.” Discussions open to students will be held with the potential dean candidates when the pool is narrowed down later in the semester.