A new committee has been appointed at Kansas University to conduct the second national search for a School of Education dean.
The previous search failed to provide candidates willing to head up the school.
Richard Whelan, acting education dean, agreed to remain until a permanent dean is on board. He hopes a new dean is hired by Jan. 1.
Whelan said he has no interest being a candidate for the job.
"I'm very close to retirement," he said. "I've spent most of my career at the medical school and want to return there."
Cheryl Harrod, administrative assistant to the education dean, and Sherry Borgers, professor of counseling psychology, are co-chairs of the new search committee.
"Many major institutions in the country are looking for education deans," Harrod said. "Competition is tough."
Creation of the second search committee hasn't been announced by KU. University officials notified faculty of the move by letter this week.
Whelan said searches for U.S. college and university administrators in many fields had become more difficult in recent years.
Suitable candidates are reluctant to enter administrative ranks because of budget problems in higher education and uncertainty caused by reform, he said.
"Another reason is that people just aren't as mobile as they used to be," Whelan said.
KU also has struggled to hire a new dean for the School of Pharmacy. The initial search generated two finalists, but both turned the job down.
Ronald Borchardt, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, will serve as interim dean until June 30. A temporary replacement will be drawn from KU's faculty.
The pharmacy search was complicated by a national shortage of academic administrators in the field, said Brower Burchill, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.
"There are a lot of pharmacy schools searching for deans," he said.
Burchill said lack of a permanent dean in academic schools hampered long-range planning.
"We're trying to minimize that," he said.