Four finalists remain in the hunt for a permanent Dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences.
A decision will likely be made within a month, according to Upinder Dhillon, the head of the search committee and the Dean of the School of Management.
The finalists are: Anne McCall, the dean of arts, humanities, and social sciences and a French and Italian professor at the University of Denver; Elizabeth Spiller, an English professor and associate dean of Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences; Wayne E. Jones, Jr., interim dean of Harpur and chemistry professor; and Scott Casper, interim dean of the college of liberal arts and a foundation professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Over the last 10 days, each candidate presented in front of the search committee, which is composed of nine faculty members and five non-faculty members, on the topic of “Opportunities and Challenges for a School of Arts and Sciences.”
“The provost will select and announce the dean after we hand in our recommendation to him, and this process should take about a month, if not less,” Dhillon said. “However, there is some degree of uncertainty. We don’t know what the selection is going to be like, and there are many, many variable in a decision such as this.”
Wayne E. Jones, Jr., the chair of the chemistry department, has served as the interim dean of Harpur since summer 2012, when Donald Nieman became the vice president for academic affairs.
Eric Larson, the Student Association’s vice president for finance, believes the new dean should push for student development and stay aware of goings-on on campus.
“A new Dean would need to be able to make intelligent decisions on how to handle new student population growth without compromising our currently outstanding academic programs,” Larson wrote in an e-mail. “This is particularly important as this new Dean will be involved in the hiring of new faculty members that will ultimately shape the way Binghamton University grows over the next decade. It is my sincere hope that this new Dean will keep the students interest paramount in fulfilling the requirements of the position, and that he/she will be attentive and responsive to changes on campus.”
Philip George, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, believes the incoming dean should be receptive to others and show strong leadership if it is necessary.
“What I am looking for in a dean is someone who has personality,” George said. “They need to be able to listen to the ideas of students and faculty. However, when the occasion arises they need to be a capable leader. They should be willing to stand in front and nudge others towards taking steps that will really help the students.”
Derrick Conyers, a junior double-majoring in political science and philosophy, politics, and law, said the next dean should be someone willing to aid students and foster a stronger connection with the student body.
“I hope that the next dean is someone who listens and enacts changes that can help students successfully navigate through Harpur,” he said. “I hope that they can bridge the gap between their office and the student body and seem more accessible to students as well.”