Dean position in Institute for Global Citizenship to remain vacant


Outside of the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship. Photo by Shosuke Noma ’23.

Estelle Timar-Wilcox, Editor-in-Chief

Macalester’s administration has decided to postpone hiring a new dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC). This decision comes after former dean Donna Maeda retired in November 2021. Vice Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty Paul Overvoorde has been serving as the interim dean since then, and will continue to do so until a new dean is hired sometime during the next academic year. 

Provost Lisa Anderson-Levy informed Macalester faculty of the decision not to hire a new dean yet via an email to the faculty on Friday, March 11. 

“After extensive feedback from our community, I’ve decided to pause the search for the next dean until at least some high level themes have emerged from the strategic planning process, which might inform the search,” Anderson-Levy wrote. 

According to her update, the college will refine the job description over the summer after hearing some feedback from the community and Macalester’s strategic planning Champions, and it will start the search for a new dean in the fall.

The announcement comes in conjunction with more staffing changes in IGC offices. Last Friday, April 4 marked Paul Schadewald’s last day at the college as senior project director in the Civic Engagement Center (CEC), which is under the IGC. Schadewald is the second CEC staffer to leave this semester — back in January, former program associate Eily Marlow left the college. 

In light of the series of departures, Associate Dean for Educational Partnerships Ruth Janisch and Assistant Dean for College Access, Retention and Success Sedric McClure are taking on new responsibilities. Both will serve as co-directors of the CEC and also as associate deans of the IGC.

According to McClure, the transitions and absences leave the CEC staff with a lot on their plates — too much for the staff to do sustainably, he said.

“Inevitably, you want to continue all the things you want to do, but that’s impossible,
McClure said. 

For now, McClure says the CEC is focusing on bringing its programs to a successful end of the semester, prioritizing existing groups like Lives of Commitment and Bonner Scholars. Once the semester ends, the office will look to hire new staff, with the hopes of bringing them on by the beginning of July. 

It’s not just the day-to-day operations that are changing in the IGC and its offices; in the midst of staff transitions, the ongoing pandemic and the strategic planning process, the college is taking the opportunity to examine the future of the IGC and the dean position. 

McClure brought the issue back to the broader questions of internationalism and multiculturalism. 

“You have internationalism and then multiculturalism, and how do we have them inform one another, and not be sometimes wandering on parallel tracks?” McClure asked. “They’re both important. They all have their own perspectives and methodologies and approaches. But how do you bring those things together?” 

Those questions will come into play when deciding what the IGC dean’s job description will look like, as Anderson-Levy wrote in her email update about the hiring process.

Maeda asked the same questions when she retired in November. She noted the difficulty of bringing the two concepts together and said Macalester was not always supportive of that work. 

“People were using these terms [of internationalism and multiculturalism] in lots of different ways,” Maeda said in an interview after she left the college. “And, as in any institution, some approaches to any kind of work are supported institutionally and others are not as well supported or can become marginalized.”

McClure said any results of those conversations about internationalism and multiculturalism will appear down the line in offices within the IGC like the CEC, too. 

“We start to think about, at the senior level… what the IGC will be doing. And then for the CEC, we want to continue, and we will have to figure out what that’s going to mean if there’s gonna be changes that could be made above,” McClure said. 

Overvoorde, who has been working with the CEC, International Student Programs and the Center for Study Away in his role as interim dean, said he was also overseeing some of these changes. 

“Part of this work included working closely with Provost Anderson-Levy on changes in some positions,” Overvoorde wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. 

Anderson-Levy did not respond to request for comment. 

While the IGC staff keep programs running through the end of the year and start hiring processes, they believe more shifts are on the horizon. 

“Everything is on the table … because it’s the situation circumstances call for,” McClure said.  

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