Committee considers 5 dean finalists

Katelynn Mccollough

The five dean finalists for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have each spoken at an open forum and visited campus during the past three weeks.

The finalists — Albert Boggess, Carolyn Cutrona, Beate Schmittmann, Chaden Djalali and Douglas Epperson — each had the opportunity to give a short presentation outlining their feelings on leadership, diversity and what they saw for Iowa State’s LAS College. Several of the finalists also used the time to give a short history of their educational and career history.

“I think we have a really fantastic slate of candidates for the LAS dean,” said David Oliver, interim dean for the College of LAS. “I would be delighted with several of the candidates. The open fora are always a challenge because they are on pretty open topics. Nevertheless, I thought that the candidates, as a rule, did very well.”

Oliver, who has been the interim dean since Michael Whiteford retired from the position last spring, attended all of the open forums along with a variety of faculty, staff and students.

After each presentation, those in attendance were allowed to ask the finalists questions. They also were given evaluation sheets where they would have a chance to weigh in on their choice for the new dean.

“I do wish that more students and faculty had shown up at the fora as the next dean will be a major decision-maker in their lives on campus,” Oliver said.

The first two forums saw no students in attendance, although more students attended as the forums continued.

“I think we have five really talented candidates,” said Joel Geske, an LAS faculty senator and chairman of the LAS Diversity Committee. “I think everybody brings different strengths to the table.”

Geske met with each candidate twice while they visited campus, but this was during what he described as “closed forums” for members on the search committees.

There has been no announcement of the new dean at this time, but the decision should be made within the following weeks.