Archive for Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fine arts dean search goes back to square 1

March 25, 2008


The six-month search for a new dean of the School of Fine Arts at Kansas University has run into a hurdle: The candidates who were brought to campus this month aren't a good fit for the university.

John Gaunt, dean of the School of Architecture and chairman of the fine arts dean search committee, said more would be known about a new timetable for the search when an interim dean is announced later this week.

"As the provost said, the search committee had not recommended the hire of the people we'd interviewed," Gaunt said. "They were terrific people, all very good. It's a question of the fit."

The three candidates who came to Lawrence were Wade Hobgood, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville; William Vernon May, dean of the College of Music at Baylor; and Aaron Horne, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Winston-Salem State University.

KU Provost Richard Lariviere sent an e-mail to fine arts faculty and others last week saying he was dissatisfied with the search and intended to restart it with an interim dean assuming the role of dean when Steve Hedden leaves the position later this year. The search was removed from the provost office's Web site this week.

Gaunt said the primary concern is finding the right person for the job - and not just someone who may be capable of filling the job.

"The worst thing you can do in a search is hire someone that doesn't truly work out," Gaunt said. "That's what a failed search is."

A timeline for the new search was not available Monday, as the provost was out of the office and not available for comment.

Gaunt said he was hopeful a new search would succeed where the previous search had not.


absolutelyridiculous 10 years, 2 months ago

HELP WANTED: Be all that they want you to be!

Elite state-funded university is seeking a Dean of the School of Fine Arts. Qualified candidate must be a strong visionary who can see what he is told to see. He must be able to say yes, schmooze with the richest of alumni and bring home the bacon. Local candidates need not apply. Experience with large corporate donors a plus. Generous relocation package plus, tickets to all KU athletic events as well as state funded benefits package including health, life and retirement package. Political affiliation will be considered - Independents need not apply.

nobody1793 10 years, 2 months ago

I've been on several hiring committees in my day, and good people are really hard to find. This is certainly better than hiring the wrong person.

jonas 10 years, 2 months ago

A couple bitter folks up early this morning.

LJD230 10 years, 2 months ago

Bravo to the Provost. It is good to know someone at KU seeks academic excellence.

This is off topic but does anyone know if KU will receive any "earmark" money? The University of Vermont received 10 million. Trent Lott made certain lots of federal dollars are heading down to Mississippi. Have the two distinguished senators from Kansas left their state out in the cold?

kusp8 10 years, 2 months ago

Another off topic note, KU's server is down...again.

valgrlku 10 years, 2 months ago

The same thing has happened at least twice for the career center - I guess if you aren't aligned with the "vision" of the director (or whomever), then even good, qualified candidates are dismissed. I wonder how much money the university spends on the interviewing process, and is there a limit? Maybe some of the money can be rerouted to other areas, like getting the servers to work and avoiding power outages? Just a thought...

toefungus 10 years, 2 months ago

Fine arts program at KU is broken. Has been for a long time. They need someone willing and able to take that on. Fit may be the wrong term. I can think of something else those candidates will need that would be a little rude to post here.

Kontum1972 10 years, 2 months ago

good art schools....Chicago Art Institute, Kansas City Art Institute, UMKC, and University of Santa Cruz, California

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