Kansas University officials have narrowed the field to four finalists Â one of them a ranking member of the Kansas higher education establishment Â in the search for a new dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Kip Hodges, a professor of geology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is being interviewed on campus next week. And, sources said, Kansas Board of Regents Executive Director Kim Wilcox is in the running.
Rich Givens, chairman of the CLAS search committee, said he hoped to have campus visits from finalists complete by spring break, which begins March 18. The successful candidate would begin work July 1. The CLAS dean at KU oversees about 16,000 students and about 550 faculty members, more than any other dean at the university.
Givens, an assistant provost and chemistry professor, said Hodges was a finalist but said the other candidates would not be identified until their campus visits were announced.
Other KU sources confirmed Wilcox was a finalist. Wilcox was not available for comment Tuesday.
Hodges has been at MIT since 1983. He served as a faculty member for most of that time except 1997-1999, when he was dean of undergraduate curriculum. He taught at the University of Wyoming from 1982 to 1983.
Wilcox has served as director of the Board of Regents since 1999. Before that, he spent 15 years as a faculty member in speech, language and hearing at KU. He also served a year as special counsel to KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway and a year as the regents' interim director of academic affairs.
While at KU Sunday through Tuesday, Hodges will meet with the search committee, administrators, students and faculty members. He has two open forums planned Â one for CLAS faculty from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union, and one for CLAS students from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday in the English Room of the Kansas Union.
The dean will replace Sally Frost-Mason, who left last spring to become provost at Purdue University.
Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, associate provost, has served as interim dean since Frost-Mason left.