Three Colleges Search for New Deans

Ian Young, Staff Writer

The colleges of Nursing and Health Professions, Liberal Arts and the Romain College of Business are currently searching for deans after their former deans stepped down for various reasons in 2021.

James Beeby, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts, became the Provost of Keene State College Fall 2021. Cathy Carey, former dean of the Romain College of Business, stepped down Nov. 2, 2021 and is now a faculty professor of economics. Anne White, former dean of the college of Nursing and Health Professions, retired in Fall 2021.

The faculty in colleges looking for a new dean created search committees consisting of a variety of professors from their college alongside community representatives. These search committees are responsible for screening and voting for a dean based on their college’s dean search prospectus. 

No members of any of the search committees have commented on the current status of the search. Amie McKibban, associate professor of psychology, said she signed a non-disclosure agreement relating to progress to the search.

Deans report directly to the Provost and serve as the chief academic officer for their respective college. Deans generally are overseers of the student and faculty experience within the college, help set the budget and manage the stability and growth of their respective college. 

“Deans are trying to work for the president and the Provost as well as support the faculty and students,” said Casey Pycior, assistant professor of English.

The requirements for the position include a doctorate or terminal degree (the highest degree available in an academic discipline), qualifications equivalent to a tenured, full professor and evidence of administrative leadership experience. Each college also has its own requirements related to their accreditation and/or the applicant’s personal experience in the field.

Each college’s dean search prospectus can be found here: Romain College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions

The colleges of Liberal Arts and Nursing and Health Professions held open forum presentations with each dean candidate from Feb. 17 to March 1. The Romain College of Business has not announced their open forum presentations.

For the College of Liberal Arts, the candidates were:

  • Piero Garofalo, professor of Italian Studies at the University of New Hampshire
  • Rozilyn Miller, associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma
  • James M. Scott, director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program at Texas Christian University
  • Del Doughty, dean of College of Arts, Sciences, and Education & Professor of English at Texas A&M University 

For the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the candidates were:

  • Scott Collins, director for the School of Health Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • John Henry Pommier, chairperson for the Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation at Indiana State University
  • Bimbola F. Akintade, associate professor and associate dean for the Master’s Program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing
  • Whitney Nash, assistant vice president of Interprofessional Practice Partnerships at the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center 

After each candidate’s presentation, students and staff who attended could ask the candidate questions relating to their experience and how else they intend to impact the future of the college. Students who attended a presentation could also fill out a feedback survey to the committees. The survey included the questions relating to the candidate’s “areas of strength,” “areas of concern” and any “summary comments” for the candidate and the committee.

Pycior said a dean’s position is important to students as well as faculty. “For students, being visible, being approachable and being someone that they can talk to really shows that they support and value them,” Pycior said.

“I honestly had no idea the change was happening.” said Jacob Van Bibber, a sophomore history major. “I saw the emails but didn’t know this big of a change was happening.”

Van Bibber said that he didn’t know much about the dean position to begin with, but hoped the new transition would allow for a “visible and good leader.”

“I hope the new positions will allow us to see and learn more about them,” Van Bibber said.