IGC Dean search fails

By Noah Westreich

The search process to find a replacement for the position of Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC) has ended in a failed search, leaving the position vacant.Four applicants out of a pool of nearly seventy were brought to campus during February for a multi-part interview. For each candidate, students were invited to attend their talk on the topic of “Global Citizenship and the Liberal Arts,” a Q&A session, and a discussion with the IGC student council.

Student feedback was taken seriously and influenced the decision to not hire anyone yet. Provost Kathleen Murray, who was unavailable for comment, made the ultimate decision to further the search.

But rather than seeing the still-empty position as a failure, those involved in the search committee are hopeful for the next stage in the search process.

Professor Martin Gunderson, chair of the search committee, said the intricate nature of the position made it hard to find a suitable candidate.

“The number of bills that the candidates had to fill was just really quite large,” Gunderson said.

“We are looking for a rare person,” Gunderson said.

When the search resumes next academic year, an external search firm will be hired to aid in the search process. By using a firm, strong candidates that may not be looking for a job can be pinpointed and made aware of the job opening.

The new dean’s job description includes the ability to bridge academics and practice, and expertise in the areas of multiculturalism, internationalism, and civic engagement. The search committee is also looking for someone with a pioneering vision for the future of the IGC and the ability to articulately represent its mission.

Programs within the IGC, which include the Civic Engagement Center, International Center, and Internship Office, are all overseen by the Dean of the IGC. Although there will be no dean for the 2011-2012 academic year, officials don’t expect programs to suffer.

“Before the IGC, individual units existed and worked really well,” said Vera Sidlova ’11, one of the students on the search committee, of programs such as the CEC. “They will not crumble.”

In the interim, the Provost will assist in overseeing the actions of the IGC

Students played an instrumental role in the evaluation of the candidates. Approximately 15 students were present at each event, and they asked questions and participated in discussions to gauge the candidate’s potential as dean. Feedback forms were reviewed by Sidlova and Adam Van der Sluis ’11, the student representatives on the search committee, which were then made into a report for the Provost and the rest of the committee.

“It was great to see the input and involvement of students in the process up to this point,” Van der Sluis said. “We hope that it will continue as the search process continues.”

Since the beginning of the search process, the committee was made aware that the search would not end until the right candidate is found.

“I have full faith in the Provost,” said Van der Sluis. “She looked at all angles and took in feedback from faculty, staff, and students. This was the best outcome at this point.