The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

IGC seeks new dean to give organization sturdy identity

By Clark Jacobson

There has been a lot of hubbub about Markim Hall, one of the newer, energy-efficient buildings on campus-both Finance and Commerce and The Star Tribune recently praised it for its eco-friendly design-but significantly less talk about the major Macalester organization it houses, the Institute for Global Citizenship. Macalester’s Administration is trying to change this. “The IGC is in a position where it could increase its visibility to Macalester,” commented Martin Gunderson, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Philosophy and member of the committee chosen to select candidates for the position of the new IGC Dean.

That’s right: Macalester is on a search to find a special someone to replace present IGC Dean Ahmed Samatar after his resignation last spring. With the new IGC Dean, Macalester hopes to solidify the organization’s presence as a noteworthy institution at Macalester.

“I think [the IGC] is still a work-in-progress,” commented Gunderson, “and I think the new dean will be able to shape the mission to some extent.” The IGC’s mission is to encourage “Global Citizenship,” which Gunderson describes as “a willingness to be committed to community.”

The selection committee, comprised of six faculty members from varying departments, two staff and two students, has the job of narrowing down the candidates to a small contingent of three or four finalists. The committee then will present the finalists to Kathleen Murray, Macalester’s provost, who will make the ultimate decision.

“[We’re looking for] someone who can engage with students and faculty and basically work with the faculty to be more involved with the IGC,” stated Gunderson. “The [new Dean] needs to be able to be a good spokesperson for the IGC-it entails being able to talk about the various directors and programs that report to the IGC.”

A more easily discernible credential that candidates for the position must have is either a Ph.D or an equivalent sort of terminal degree. This is to allow the potential IGC Dean credibility with the different faculty, staff and groups at Macalester, many of whom have professional degrees.

“I know [Murray] was keen on getting representation from different divisions and people who had different viewpoints,” said Gunderson. “I think she wanted a committee that would represent the different views of the college.”

Gunderson additionally commented that employees of the IGC “are so involved in the IGC that it’s worthwhile to have people recommending candidates who won’t themselves be reporting to the new Dean. Also, some people who do work for the IGC have been interviewed by the committee.”

Some of the programs that the IGC already sponsors are the Study Away programs, the Lily Project (which sponsors summer internships), Lives of Commitment, and the International Roundtable, along with assisting an annual faculty seminar trip abroad to destinations such as the Hague and Israel/Palestine. Yet it’s evident to many that merely these programs do not do Markim Hall justice.

“It’s important to do more,” for the IGC, Gunderson said. He was not able to release the names of the candidates, as some are current faculty and staff.

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