The College of Education is searching for a new dean after Frances Kochan announced her decision to resign from the position, effective summer 2010.
Auburn University Provost Mary Ellen Mazey moderated a college-wide public forum to hear thoughts on the new dean.
“I’m here to get input on leadership attributes people want to see in the new dean,” Mazey said.
A search committee composed of faculty and students has been composed, and is led by June Henton, the dean of the College of Human Sciences.
“We want to make sure we start with a broad perspective on what students and faculty want in a new dean,” Henton said.
Mazey, who has chaired three dean searches and one provost search, explained the process of finding a new dean for the College of Education.
The college will hire a search firm in addition to the established committee. The position will then be advertised nationally.
“I will be indirectly involved by contacting deans across the nation to build the pool,” Mazey said.
After a period where interested candidates can apply, the position will be closed to evaluate the candidates. Eight to 10 semi-finalists will be selected.
“By March, at the latest early April, I hope we have at least three to four candidates who will come to campus for two full days of interviews and meetings,” Mazey said.
The search committee will review evaluations and data, gather what they deem to be the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates and notify the provost of at least two individuals they think are acceptable for the position.
Auburn will become familiar with this process. The College of Business and the College of Science and Mathematics also have dean openings, while the College of Nursing just hired a new dean for Auburn and Auburn Montgomery.
“It shows change at Auburn,” Mazey said. “It’s a great opportunity to bring new people into Auburn, and I view it as a challenge.”
After Mazey explained the search process, she opened the floor for discussion on desired qualities in the new dean.
“We need someone who can really present our case to all levels,” said Gary Martin, a professor in math education. “Someone who’s going to go out and fight our fights for us.”
Mazey stressed the advantages of looking for someone who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity.
“If you look at the population of this country, the students we will be educating will be very diverse,” Mazey said. “We need a role model for them.”
Henton emphasized the importance of a wide nomination pool and encouraged faculty to contact colleagues they think would be well-qualified.
“I can’t stress enough having all of you involved in this process,” Henton said. “The search firm will do a lot of work for the search, but you may know people on the inside track and be able to identify possible candidates through those connections.”
Information and updates on the search will be posted on the provost Web site at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost.