Search for new dean narrows to ‘final four’

Angelo Gargaro

It has been about four years since the College of Arts and Sciences has seen a permanent dean. Now, with the search down to four candidates, Kent State might be saying good-bye to Jerry Feezel, interim dean for the college, for good this time.

Robert Pratt is chair of the history department at the University of Georgia and has been there for 21 years. He is also the first of the four candidates to be brought to Kent State’s campus for a two-day-long schedule of events, one of which involves Kent State students.

Today from 10 to 10:30 a.m., Pratt will be in Bowman Hall Room 102, where students have the chance to ask Pratt questions.

Pratt said he’s not nervous at all for tomorrow. Before he was an administrator, he was a professor. He is used to being around students.

“My style is very frank, and sort of ‘shoot from the hip,'” Pratt said. “If I am comfortable or at ease with anybody, it is certainly students.”

Tim Chandler, head of the search committee, is dean for the College of the Arts.

“Students are encouraged to meet with him,” Chandler said. “We do the same thing with each of the candidates, and this is an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to meet with each of the four candidates.”

The other three candidates will come to campus within the next week and a half. They will go through the same schedule as Pratt. Students are encouraged to meet with these candidates as well, to help with the process of finding the new dean.

The next candidate will arrive on campus Thursday and will be here through Friday. The last two candidates will arrive next week.

After all the candidates visit campus, the next step goes to the provost.

“I would hope that we would have a list of names to the provost by the first week in November,” Chandler said. “Then it will be up to him.”

As for Pratt, he said he is looking forward to a new challenge. He also said he will give no guarantees.

“Some questions you can’t answer,” Pratt said. “I haven’t been offered the job yet, so there’s nothing I can do but answer in the hypothetical.”

Angelo Gargaro