By Marissa Payne
The Faculty Senate discussed the timeline and processes of replacing some UI administrators who have announced their intention to step down this year at its meeting Tuesday night in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber.
Curry switches course on search for dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty Senate Pete Snyder said interim Executive Vice President and Provost Sue Curry has decided to move the time frame of the search for a new dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and is expected to name co-chairs soon.
Previously, Curry indicated she planned to appoint an interim dean rather than hiring a new one before a new provost could be selected. After attending some Faculty Senate meetings, Snyder said, it seemed to prompt her decision to move forward with the search.
Faculty members had expressed concern with lacking a dean as the 2020 initiative to restructure the university and identify its mission years in the future is ongoing. The initiative may mean academic units, including departments and colleges, will be broken up. the Liberal Arts College is the largest of the UI’s colleges, with 17,500 undergraduates studying in the 69 degree programs it oversees.
Snyder said Curry is going the extra mile to hear from members of the community.
“I believe she is really reaching out for feedback on this and consulting with the relevant to groups to get suggestions,” he said.
Rethinking structure of UI Office of Research & Economic Development
The UI is not only looking for a new person to lead the Office of Research and Economic Development, it is also discussing the structure of the office as a whole.
In September, the UI announced Dan Reed, then-UI vice president for Research and Economic Development, would step down this fall because of an unspecified health event. John Keller, the dean of the Graduate College, is currently filling the role on an interim basis while still serving as dean.
Music Professor David Gier, a co-chair of the search committee tasked with finding a replacement for Reed, said the committee is producing a report with recommendations and job descriptions and will then initiate a normal search process.
Gier said the work is being done in the context about the 2020 initiative, review of the central administration, and other major issues and changes.
Pharmacy Professor Aliasger Salem, the other co-chair of the search committee, said the committee is first doing a series of interviews with various stakeholders relevant to the office and identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
Part of the process of gathering feedback is looking at how other institutions are dealing with economic development, Salem said, because the term means different things to different people.
The committee hopes to initiate the search early in the spring 2018 semester, Salem said.