Associate dean positions may be eliminated

Kim Thompson

The search for an associate dean of academic affairs is underway in the College of Nursing and is step No. 1 of Dean Julie Johnson’s plan to internally overhaul the college.

The associate dean will be second in command and will combine the duties of the two assistant dean positions.

“The role of the associate dean will be to oversee the administration of the curriculum of the graduate and undergraduate programs,” Interim Associate Dean Kathleen Huttlinger said.

Directors, rather than assistant deans, may oversee the undergraduate and graduate programs, depending on the recommendations of an outside consultant and faculty input, Johnson said. The consultant is coming tomorrow and Friday to evaluate the structure of the college and make suggestions.

The two assistant dean contracts expire June 30, but the future of the positions depends on the consultant’s recommendations, Johnson said. The assistant dean positions are held by Diana Biordi, who oversees research and graduate affairs, and Connie Stopper, who oversees student services and baccalaureate affairs.

Johnson said the motivation for the reorganization is to make the College of Nursing more cost effective.

When asked if she’ll stay at Kent State if the assistant dean positions are eliminated, Stopper said, “I love Kent State, and I love this College of Nursing.”

Johnson said the college has received applications for the associate dean position, but Huttlinger, who’s serving as interim associate dean, said she’s not one of them.

“I’ve been an associate dean before,” Huttlinger said. “At this point in my career, I’m looking at different things.”

Some qualities the college is seeking in candidates include being a risk taker and having a vision for nursing education in the future, Johnson said.

Johnson said she would like the associate dean to begin July 1.

Contact medicine reporter Kim Thompson at [email protected].