Professors suggest choosing new dean from among faculty

By Caleb Diehl /// Managing Editor

After St. Mary’s college announced Dean of the College Tuajuanda Jordan its president-elect last Wednesday, some Lewis & Clark faculty members met to draft an open letter to President Barry Glassner asking that the next dean be chosen from LC faculty. The authors intend to send the letter before the faculty forum on April 8.

20 professors met last Thursday afternoon to draft the letter. After the meeting, they communicated with their colleagues online. Within one day, 48 faculty members signed. Signatures so far have come from professors of history, math, physics, theater, dance, hispanic studies, sociology and anthropology, rhetoric and media studies, French, chemistry, environmental studies, Japanese and international affairs.

The Pioneer Log obtained a copy of the letter on Saturday afternoon. In it, professors recommended that candidates for dean come from undergraduate faculty only. They noted that candidates from outside the college might take longer to adjust to the culture of LC, and that many liberal arts colleges, including Reed, already select deans from among faculty.

The faculty also proposed that deans serve for three years, “with the possibility of an additional three-year term.” Establishing a “regular process for succession,” they wrote, would help deans continue the projects started by their predecessors.

“They would act as stewards of the institution,” faculty wrote, “knowing that after their term concluded they would be returning to the faculty.”

The authors also cited financial concerns. In “these times of budget crisis,” they argued that hiring a candidate from among faculty would cost the college less than continuing its current practice, conducting a national search for candidates.

In addition to faculty candidates, the authors asked for more faculty input in the selection process. They proposed a search committee composed of six faculty and two staff members.

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