Search remains for three more school deans

After Provost Hai-Lung Dai set a goal of appointing permanent deans to four of five slots that were vacant at the start of the semester, one has been filled and the university is wrapping up candidate visits with the other three.

President Neil Theobald appointed Joseph Lucia, the director of the Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University, as the dean of University Libraries earlier this month. He’ll assume his position on July 1.

Lucia takes the reins of the deanship from Carol Lang, who served in an interim role since August 2011. Dennis Silage, who chaired the University Libraries’ dean search advisory committee, called Lucia a “forward-thinking individual.”

“You have to do good things with what you have available and that’s what he’s been able to do at Villanova,” Silage, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, said. “It impressed us in the committee that he was able to do some innovative things within the constraints of that particular institution and, hopefully here at Temple, he’ll be able to do that and lot more.”

Lucia is the first in what is expected to be a series of four dean appointments in the coming months.

Candidate visits for the dean of the School of Media and Communication wrapped yesterday, April 22.

The two other schools at the forefront of dean searches – the College of Education and the College of Health Professions and Social Work – have each had two of three candidates visit the university.

James Graves of the University of Utah and Laura Siminoff of Virginia Commonwealth University visited the university within the past two weeks for CHPSW’s deanship. Steven Stanhope of the University of Delaware is expected to visit the university on Thursday and Friday.

Jacqueline Stefkovich of Penn State University visited the university last week in reference to COE’s deanship and Wanda Blanchett of the University of Missouri-Kansas City will be wrapping up her visit today, April 23. COE’s third candidate won’t be visiting until early May and has yet to be publicly announced, said Vice Provost for University College Vicki Lewis McGarvey.

In the coming weeks, each search’s advisory committee will be meeting with the provost and, if scheduling allows, the president, to discuss each candidate. The committees don’t rank the candidates, rather the members discuss the “pros and cons of each candidate,” McGarvey said. After that, the president and provost review recommendations from the committee and the feedback from those who met with the candidate, and decide who to make the offer to, she said.

McGarvey said she expects the university should be able to announce the choices for the three deanships by the end of next month.

“In all likelihood, negotiation can take a little time,” McGarvey said. “My guess is that we should publicly be able to announce who the candidates are by the end of May.”

She said depending on the candidates’ schedule, they would start anywhere from July to September.

Though there was a bit of a delay in naming Lucia the dean of University Libraries, McGarvey said it wasn’t so much an issue of negotiations, but a delay related to the university having a new provost and president.

“We’ve worked out the kinks and the next one should go much more smoothly,” McGarvey said.

The College of Science and Technology is the remaining college that houses an interim dean but the provost said in February that the university is not actively seeking a permanent dean for CST yet.

Sean Carlin can be reached at sean.carlin@temple.edu or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84. 

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