College of Arts and Sciences begins another search for dean

Christina Stavale

For the fourth time since 2004, a search for a dean for the College of Arts and Sciences is underway.

The College of Arts and Sciences is Kent State’s largest college, and it includes a range of departments, from chemistry and anthropology to philosophy and geography. Jerry Feezel currently serves as the college’s interim dean.

“There’s always an element of uncertainty when the leadership of any unit is interim,” said Tim Chandler, chair of the search committee.

This time, the university has employed a search consultant completely dedicated to searching for a dean.

A search consultant is not someone who works for the university, but someone who works full-time to search for possible candidates. Jerry Baker, of Baker and Associates, worked as a search consultant to bring President Lester Lefton to Kent State during the university’s search for a new president, and he is doing the same thing now to search for a fitting dean.

“One of the things that is attractive to possible candidates is when they see that a search consultant has been appointed,” said Chandler, who is also the dean of the College of the Arts.

He said having a search consultant adds credibility and expertise to the search process, as it is sometimes difficult for someone with another full-time job to search for candidates as well.

So far, Chandler said about 20 candidates have applied, and while the search committee is not releasing the candidates’ names, he said they have a “very strong pool.”

The college is seeking outstanding leaders with a strong sense of vision, commitment and appreciation for research and administrative experience in a complex university setting, according to an advertisement for the position. The committee will continue to search until it finds a successful candidate.

“I have very high hopes for its success,” Chandler said.

A reason he believes this search will be successful is because the search has started early.

“We hope to be interviewing as the new semester gets underway,” he said. “This makes us likely to get the best pool of candidates.”

This will also allow administrators, faculty and students more time to participate in the process when the final candidates visit for on-campus interviews.

“It’s important for the campus, and it’s important for the candidates that there’s good participation in this process,” Chandler said.

The search committee, which is made up of 15 people representing different areas within the College of Arts and Sciences and departments likely to interact with it, will meet within the next ten days to discuss the candidates that have applied so far, Chandler said.

“The hope is we will be able to recommend a candidate or candidates to the provost by early to mid-October,” he said.

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].