University dean search narrows down candidates

Gannon University had a busy year, with several new hires, employees leaving and others being reassigned.

However, signs of permanence are appearing on the horizon with Gannon’s search for new deans for the College of Engineering and Business and the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.

Two search committees, composed of faculty and staff, are currently in the process of interviewing applicants for the open positions.

Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the university is looking to hire candidates who have the skills and the passion to be visionary leaders, moving the colleges forward and aligning them with the strategic plan the university has in place.

“We want deans who are able to move the curricula innovatively,” Masters said. “They need to be up to date and responsive to the competitive and changing market needs.”

Masters, who had previously served as the dean of the MCHPS, said her job was demanding, yet rewarding.

“I loved my job, and it wasn’t easy,” Masters said. “The ideal candidate would be a good communicator, and someone who stays upfront and knows what new things are coming.

“The marketplace is constantly going through rapid changes; the dean of a college needs to stay on top of them and respond quickly to the environment we live in.”

Sara Palmer, a senior physical therapy major who plans on pursuing a master’s degree in physical therapy as well, said she would like the new dean to expand the facilities available to the students.

“We are usually paired off in the lab,” she said. “The tables are barely enough for us.”

Palmer said she would also like more one-on-one time with professors in labs to allow for a better learning experience.

Ken Brundage, chair for the College of Engineering and Business Search Committee, said the prospective dean needs to be able to lead the development of academic programs, strengthen existing ones and work with faculty on creating an integrated and shared vision of the College of Engineering and Business.

Brundage said the position received the responses of 50 applicants from all over the world. The 14 members on the search committee evaluated the applications and conducted preliminary interviews over video conferences with several applicants.

Three candidates made the final cut for the CEB dean position, while the search for the dean of MCHPS dean yielded four applicants. They are currently participating in the final stage of the interviews through scheduled sessions open to the faculty, staff and students.

Two applicants — Jeffery L. Ray, Ph.D., and Alexander Domijan Jr., Ph.D. – for the College of Engineering and Business, have been interviewed for the position by faculty, staff and the search committee. The third candidate for the position, William L. Scheller II, Ph.D., will be interviewed in an open session at 3 p.m. Thursday in Room 101 of the Zurn Science Center.

Masters said the university is looking for a dean who is able to move the College of Engineering and Business, with its two disciplines, collaboratively.

“They need to capitalize the strengths that we have that other universities don’t,” Masters said.

These include the Erie Technology Incubator and the Small Business Development Center.

The four candidates considered for the MCHPS positions, Susan Muller, Ph.D., Susan Meyer, Ph.D., Raymond Zetts, Ed.D., and Steven Mauro, Ph.D., have all been interviewed.

Masters said the candidates had strong leadership qualities and academic backgrounds and a commitment to students.

“They came from teaching positions and made their way up to administrative positions,” Masters said. “They know what it is for a college to be student centered.

“They also know how to be the faculties’ champions, too.”

 

HIBA ALMASRI

[email protected]

 

This article has been edited on May 8,2013. The previous version of the article mentioned three candidates for the MCHPS dean position, while four candidates are being considered for the position.