A&S faculty came out to hear Robin Roberts introduce herself as one of the five candidates applying to be the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences this past Thursday.
Roberts introduced herself for 20 minutes before allowing the floor to ask questions and provide comments. Faculty and students from different departments addressed numerous issues including increasing and maintaining diversity among the faculty, study abroad, support for community-engaged scholarship and the possibility of breaking up A&S into College of Arts and College of Sciences.
“I think breaking up a college of this size will weaken and lessen the impact of the faculty on the students,” said Roberts on breaking up A&S.
With U of L facing budget cuts and putting into place an early retirement incentive program, A&S dean plays a critical role. The search committee will be looking for a candidate that holds a variety of skills and experience in order to be able to properly provide for the university.
“Part of what this process about, is trying to make that marriage of someone who has the right compliment of experience, potential, and fit with us,” said Russell Vandenbroucke, director of the program in peace, justice, and conflict transformation.
“It’s a pretty tough position, it’s a very large college. U of L has funding issues, middle of the 21st century process, facing next year starting the gen-ed revision process. I think whoever the new dean is, is going to come into a situation where a lot of stuff is really up in the air,” said Tracy K’Meyer, chair of the history department.
Four more candidates will visit campus during late Feb. and early March.
Faculty and students will get the chance to voice their opinions to the search committee and the final decision is expected to be made by U of L Provost, Shirley Willihnganz, by the end of March.