Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2005

Interim dean interviews for permanent role

December 15, 2005

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Barbara Romzek met with Kansas University faculty Wednesday in the final Q&A session for candidates interviewing for dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The search committee will pen summaries on the four candidates and submit those to the provost and chancellor by Friday, said Mabel Rice, professor and chairwoman of the search committee. Rice said she expected there to be an announcement about the new dean in early spring, though the process is difficult to predict.

Romzek is interim dean of the college, which is KU's largest unit with 16,000 undergraduates.

Romzek said she believed the college could be more of a leader and she said she would like to help.

"The pieces are here for success," she said.

Romzek said the college needed to provide more opportunities for collaboration and it needed to build on the strengths of traditional disciplines.

She said faculty morale was always an issue, and the college needed to work to make sure faculty have good working conditions, resources and salaries. And she said the college needed to do strategic planning.

"The future, if we play it right, can be even more tantalizing," she said.

When asked about her vision for the college's future, Romzek said the college needed to look beyond the next five years. She said it should expand its international programs and the number of international faculty.

"We've got to think a lot bolder than we have thus far," she said.

But faculty are key in the process, she said.

"What we need is to get faculty to think about where we should go," she said. "The energy and enthusiasm has to come from faculty."

Romzek is vying for the position with three other candidates: Robert Frank, Joseph Steinmetz and Donald Nieman.

Frank, interim dean of the graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, stressed the importance of providing a broad liberal education.

Steinmetz, Indiana University's executive associate dean of arts and sciences, also said strategic planning was key, as well as faculty input.

Nieman, dean of Bowling Green State University's College of Arts and Sciences, has said it was important to think strategically, to understand institutional cultures and to focus on the university's mission.

Vision, transparency and dynamic leadership were among the keywords some faculty listed when asked what they sought in a dean.

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