A search is underway to find an interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences after the dean of three years assumed a new role within the office of the Provost.
In an email to faculty and staff in August, Interim Provost Therese Wignot announced that Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Linda Winkler had assumed the role of Special Assistant to the Provost and Director of International Outreach.
Wignot would not comment rumors on the reasons for Winkler attaining her new role, stating it was a “personnel matter,” but she mentioned there was a need for support in her office.
“Under Dr. (Reynold) Verret there was an associate provost and a director of undergraduate experiences so those positions were eliminated,” Wignot said. “Dr. Winkler’s skill set was perfect to fill that void and help to move forward some of the programs in the provost office.”
Winkler’s new responsibilities include engaging and developing international programs and supporting special initiatives within the office of the provost. Some of the projects she will be working on working on include setting up transfer agreements with area community colleges, running the conservatory and running the Spanish broadcast series on the radio station. She will also be looking to develop international programs for the campus.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about what various people are doing and how I might be able to assist the provost in pulling it together,” Winkler said.
In the mean time a search committee consisting of six faculty and staff from within the college and two outside faculty members has been given the responsibility of choosing who the interim provost will be. They are charged with making recommendations of several faculty and staff to Wignot to serve as interim dean. The candidates will then be interviewed with Wignot and University President Patrick Leahy and after consulting with one another, Wignot and Leahy will name one of the candidates as the interim dean.
Wignot said there will also be an associate dean named in addition to the interim dean, a role she said varies within the colleges but is mainly to support the dean.
“It’s part administrative where they still have teaching responsibilities but then they have release time for administrative duties to support the dean in whatever aspects that the dean feels they want to delegate to the associate dean,” Wignot said.
Search committee chair Prahlad Murthy, a professor of earth and environmental sciences and environmental engineering, said the committee has identified the main attributes the interim dean should posses. These attributes include being a strong advocate for the college, the ability to collaborate with people in and outside of the college, being able to multi-task and most importantly having student interests at the core.
“Student interests by far are the most important,” Murthy said.
Murthy said the committee has been moving at a good pace and is currently in the process of meeting with the various constituents within the college as well as various candidates.
Department chairs within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences say the change in administration of the college will not have a huge effect on their department.
“It’s really tough to say without knowing what the changes will be but I don’t suspect there will be many changes at all with respect to the division,” Kyle Kreider, chair of the department of Behavioral and Social Sciences said.
Murthy said the committee wants to remain transparent and anyone that has any questions, comments or feedback can contact him or any member of the committee.