Open forum explores what’s the ‘right fit’ for new dean of College of Business

Madison Martin

In effort to help the search for the new College of Business dean, faculty and staff gathered to discuss and bring forth qualities desired in the new dean.

“At the end of the day it’s all about fit,” Wickert said. “So many factors come into play when that final selection is made. It’s about background, expertise in the discipline, it’s about communication skills, professional networks, ability to motivate people, interact with alums. It’s got all those different pieces in there. 

“We are committed to finding the person in the pool that makes the best fit.”

A search committee full of members from all different backgrounds including Qing Hu, associate dean of graduate programs.

The committee is co-chaired by Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for academic personnel, and Pam White, dean of the College of Human Sciences. Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost, was also present.

“These [open forums] are meant to be good opportunities for communication among faculty, staff and students in the College of Business,” Wickert said. “The search committee makes sure everybody is informed about the process, what the next steps are going to be, and most importantly to be able to listen to you and hear your ideas. 

“Also to be able to answer questions you may have of what the process might be like.”

The search committee has hired the help of Parker Executive firm to recruit nominees.

“This usage of the firm is really going to help us move a little bit faster,” Wickert said.

Faculty and staff within the college are encouraged to provide nominations of candidates to the search committee as well.

“Your job in the search is to recruit and nominate colleagues, leaders you have met in the discipline, and people you think would be a good leader for the college,” Bratsch-Prince said.

Bratsch-Prince and White shared a timeline of how the committee hopes the search will follow. 

Feb. 7, 2013, is going to the the advertising deadline for applications, which is posted on the College of Business’ website, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of individual nominations,” White said. “We want the broadest pool possible. 

“So, we’ll want to be candidates potentially in from the business world, candidates in from academia. Potentially someone from the business world may have an academic background at some point in their career.”

After the advertising deadline, the candidate pool will be narrowed down. In early March, candidates will be brought to Des Moines to do what are called “airport interviews.” 

It is hopeful that in late March, aiming toward the week after Spring Break, the final candidates will visit campus for final interviews.

“The absolute goal is to have this completed by the end of the spring semester,” Bratsch-Prince said.

A previous search last year was put on hold during the spring semester. With the start of the search this semester, the search committee is hoping to hear back form many of the same people who expressed interest or applied during the previous search.

“We will go back to every single person who was in the final pool [last semester],” White said. “I already got one person who emailed immediately and asked to reapply.”

A few staff members brought forth qualities or events they wished to see with the new dean — one of them being a dean who really wants to work with undergraduate students and hoping to get the college endowed.

A second open forum will be at 4 p.m. this Thursday in the Krieger Board Room, 2200 Gerdin Business Building.