Dean candidate reception nets low turnout

Angelo Gargaro

Graduate and undergraduate students met with Robert Pratt, first of four candidates for dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, yesterday in Bowman Hall.

But the turnout was not what the college hoped for, with only two people in attendance.

The session was open to students with any questions concerning the new job opening. It has been about four years since the college has seen a permanent dean, and the search committee was looking to get students more involved.

Sociology graduate assistant Tegan Beechey expressed her concern with the lack of student involvement.

“I think there is a lot of dispassion amongst the student body,” Beechey said. “They just want to get their degree and move on.”

The college is making an attempt to get its faculty more acquainted with the students

In early September, the college hosted “Donuts With the Dean.” The turnout for this event was minimal as well.

“College is becoming the ’13th grade’ for many students,” Beechey said. “If you feel like you have to be there, you encounter the same problems of apathy that you get in high school – people feel they are forced to be doing something and don’t really have any interest in it.”

The second candidate is arriving on campus tomorrow, and will have the same opportunity to meet with students Friday from 1:40 to 2:10 p.m. in Room 102 of Bowman Hall.

Also tomorrow, the second “Donuts With the Dean” will be held in Williams Hall from 10 to 11 a.m. Both events revolve around student participation.

“I don’t think that you can force passion upon people,” Beechey said. “(However), I think it is possible to inspire people to realize that this could be a great experience for them, and they could get something meaningful and lifelong from it.”

She also said faculty and staff members need to start taking on this role themselves.

“I don’t see it happening from the students’ end,” Beechey said. “Somebody has got to wake these kids up.”

Pratt, who is currently the history department chair at the University of Georgia, also mentioned this. He said it is important for faculty to inspire and motivate students.

“I think intervention is critical,” Pratt said. “Make a difference and have an impact – that’s what we do. I think the dean should send that message forward and hope your department chairs and your faculty members get the ball rolling.”

Contact the College of the Arts and Sciences reporter Angelo Gargaro at [email protected]