Iowa State begins search for new dean for College of Business

Madison Martin

On Oct. 11, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost announced the search for the next business dean was under way. 

Currently, Michael Crum, Ruan Chair in supply chain management, serves as interim dean for the College of Business. Crum moved into the dean’s office after previous business dean, Labh Hira, retired in March.

The search committee consists of 18 members. Pam White, dean of the College of Human Sciences, and Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for academic personnel, are the committee’s co-chairwomen.

Rob Schweers, director of communications for the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, provided information about the search committee.

“Typically for a dean search, we have someone who is an assistant or associate provost here along with a dean from one of the other colleges,” Schweers said.

In most dean searches, candidates are often nominated.

“We’re actively soliciting nominations,” Schweers said. “Those nominations may come internally. So you have a faculty member who says: ‘Oh I came from Harvard and they had this great professor there who I’d think would be a great dean.’ They forward those names and then often times we’ll reach out those people and say to them: ‘You were recommended as someone for this position. Are you interested?’ If they are, they have the option to take the formal step to apply.”

Not only are nominations taken internally but oftentimes alumni will offer nominations as well. Dean positions are also advertised in publications like the “Chronicle of Higher Philanthropy.”

“You won’t find it in The [Des Moines] Register or the Ames Tribune,” Schweers said jokingly. “But with those advertisements we find people that we may not have thought of or who weren’t recommended to us.”

There are a few steps to the application process. Applicants are first narrowed down based on how they look on paper. After that, those selected may have their references called upon. Then a smaller group is selected.

“Essentially we invite them to the airport,” Schweers joked again. “We call them ‘airport interviews,’ where people can fly in quick, have their interview, and then they fly home.”

These “airport interviews” are used for a couple of reasons.

“If you’re not really at the finalist stage, you probably don’t want your current university employer to know you’re looking,” Schweers said. “So it’s a way for them to discreetly come and talk about their qualifications and why they think they would be good fit to lead, in this case, the College of Business.”

From there, the group is narrowed down to an even smaller candidate pool. These candidates are invited to campus. Here they present in open forums to the search committee and people involved with the college. From all of this, feedback is provided to the search committee.

“The search committee takes all the feedback it get from the open forums, faculty and from fellow search committee members themselves, and comes up with a recommendation essentially to the provost, who then, in consultation with others, makes the final decision of who the next dean of the College of Business will be,” Schweers said.

There is no timeline for when the new dean will be found. The search, having started only a week and a half ago, is in early stages and actively taking nominations.

Check back with the Daily as the search for the new dean develops.