Dean search continues: Dr. Umble stands in as interim Dean

Danielle Kreider
News Editor

In lieu of the new dean search, Dr. Vilas Prabhu, Provost/VP For Academic Affairs, enlightened Millersville University on what the search entails.

1.) Which Dean position is open? Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
2.) Why is this position open? The previous dean, Dr. John Short, retired at the end of the spring semester in 2010.
3.) Are there any candidates chosen? The search committee invited five candidates to on-campus interviews during February and March. One candidate recently withdrew to accept a position at another institution, leaving four.
4.) What does this search entail? The process for dean searches is set by a University Governance Policy, available at: http://www.millersville.edu/about/administ…ppointments.pdf.
5.) How long will this search take? The search began with the formation of the committee in April 2012, and it should be completed in March 2013, when the committee will make its recommendations to the Provost for the three finalists.
6.) How will the candidates be narrowed down? The position was advertised in national publications and on Millersville University’s employment website in August 2012, with a September 10 deadline for applications. Eighty-nine applications were received. The search committee reviewed the applications and narrowed the list of candidates by conducting telephone inquiries and off-campus interviews. The candidates selected by the committee for on-campus interviews meet with the following groups, in addition to the committee: students who are majoring in programs offered in the school; faculty, including the department chairs of the school, representatives of APSCUF (the faculty union), and Faculty Senate representatives; and administrators, including members of the President’s Cabinet and Deans’ Council; the dean’s office staff, Social Equity and Human Resources. Each dean candidate also has an opportunity to present directly to the University Community during a public forum on the topic “The Role of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.” The public forums allow time for questions and answers, and all who participate in the process are asked to share their responses by completing a Candidate Evaluation Form, available for printing online and at each session. The candidates’ credentials and Candidate Evaluation Form are available at: http://www.millersville.edu/hss/deansearch/index.php.
7.) What qualities is MU looking for in a new Dean? The dean must have at least five years of administrative experience; a record of quality scholarship, teaching and service in higher education; previous success in strategic planning, managing employees and budgets; and prior experience representing a college to various groups. Strong oral, written and interpersonal communication skills are important, as is engagement in programs that promote and support diversity.
8.) Will there be an interim Dean? If so, who and why? Since national searches often take one or more years to complete, Dr. Diane Z. Umble, Professor of Communication and Theatre, was appointed in June 2010 to serve as Interim Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
9.) What changes can MU expect to see with the hire of a new Dean? The successful candidate for the role of dean will probably spend several months getting to know the students, faculty and staff in the school, as well as becoming familiar with her or his new responsibilities.
10.) What does the job of Dean entail? To use a business analogy, the dean is the CEO for her or his school; in higher education, this role is referred to as Chief Academic Officer (CAO). The Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Studies is responsible for the largest of the three schools at Millersville University. It is comprised of fourteen departments, five interdisciplinary minors and ROTC (see list below). Priorities for the dean include supporting the University’s commitment to high quality in its academic courses and programs for the disciplines represented within the school; fostering advances in teaching, scholarship and service by the school’s faculty members; identifying and implementing best practices to promote teaching and learning; and increasing student opportunities for civic engagement. The dean is involved in all aspects of her or his school, including strategic planning; budget management; facilities and equipment acquisition, maintenance and repair; and support for grant-writing and fundraising activities. The dean also promotes the school’s special events, which include a wide variety of visual arts, music performances, student television and radio station productions, film series, and poetry and theatrical performances. The dean represents the school at alumni events and to external groups in Lancaster County and in the region, as well as on campus.

Departments in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences include the following:
Accounting and Finance
Art & Design
Communication/Theatre
Economics
English
Foreign Languages
Geography
Government and Political Affairs
History
Management and Marketing
Music
Philosophy
Social Work
Sociology/Anthropology

In addition to the above, the School houses the interdisciplinary programs African-American Studies, Entrepreneurship, International Studies, Latino/Latina Studies, and Women’s Studies, as well as Military Science/ROTC.

11.) What was the tenure of the last three Deans? Dr. Barbara Montgomery, July 1996 – December 2000; Dr. Rita Marinho, May 2001 – February 2003; Dr. John Short, July 2006 – May 2010. (Interim deans were appointed to serve during the periods between these deans’ terms of service.)
12.) What can MU expect to see from a new Dean? Please see response to #9 above.
13.) Will a committee be choosing the new Dean? If not how is this process conducted? Please see #4 above. Note that, per the University Governance Policy, dean search committees are to include “one student, majoring in one of the departments of that school, elected by Student Senate.”
14.) Are there any stand-out qualities that MU is looking for in a new Dean? The role of dean is complex and varied, requiring experience in university administration and excellent communication skills. As part of the application process, the search committee asked applicants to identify how their qualifications and experience have prepared them for this position, and how they have built consensus and a shared vision in prior leadership roles.
15.) What are the responsibilities of the Dean? The dean’s responsibilities are wide-ranging and include offering academic vision for the school, managing daily operations of the school, supervising its academic programs, collaborating with University administrative offices, representing the school at university and community functions, and regularly interacting with students, faculty, alumni and community leaders. (Details are provided in #10 above.)