Officials: search for CLA dean in early stages

William Stull has been interim dean since February.

The selection process for a Dean of the College of Liberal Arts is still ongoing, a university official told The Temple News.

Last year College of Liberal Arts Dean Teresa Soufas announced her resignation after seven years of service, but was scheduled to return after a year as a foreign language professor. Temple later announced William Stull, the former chair of the economics department, would serve as interim dean until the position is filled. A new dean was said to be announced in 2016.

“The search is well underway, and we’re building a pool of candidates,” said Jodi Levine Laufgraben, vice provost for academic affairs at Temple. “The search takes a full academic year.”

Laufgraben said the position has been advertised in several academic periodicals and online recruiting platforms.

Temple has hired search consulting company Isaacson, Miller to build a candidate pool. The firm is based in Boston and works as a recruitment service for colleges, universities, foundations and other organizations,  according to its website.

The company will meet with faculty, administrators and select students from CLA and throughout the university to review the candidates throughout the semester.

“There will be off-campus semifinals for the candidates in March, and then the finals on campus at the end of the spring semester,” Laufgraben said. “We can’t nail the dates down at the moment.”

Laufgraben also said the search is a “confidential” process, so the names will not be released until later this year.

The advertisement Temple released says it “seeks a visionary leader” who is able to “support the faculty in their research and teaching” and “cultivate innovation within the college.”

The ad also describes Temple’s position as a research institution and the advantages of working in the heart of Philadelphia.

“We’re looking for a dean that will have a strong relationship with the staff,” Laufgraben said. “We need to shape the role of liberal arts in the current academic climate, and this dean needs to be able to connect students’ majors to careers.”

Laufgraben also said Temple is looking for a dean who can also build a relationship between the campus and the community.

When asked about tensions between students, faculty and the university after the resignation of Soufas, the dismissal of Anthony Monteiro and the search for a new dean for CLA, Laufgraben said the candidates will be fully informed of the challenges they may face.

“We can’t only focus on certain areas,” she said. “We have to focus on positives and opportunities as well as how to face challenges.”

Julie Christie can be reached at or on Twitter @ChristieJules

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