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CCFA moving forward with dean search


Interviews for candidates who have applied to be the next Dean of the College of Communications and Fine Arts will be conducted over the next few weeks.

Dale-Elizabeth Phersson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services said a search committee made up of representatives from CCFA departments, is "hoping to have the search wrapped up in the spring." 

"We've vetted and reviewed all the applicants and met as a search committee several times," said Phersson, who chairs the search committee. "We have come up with a list of individuals we are going to Skype interview and those interviews will take place in the next week. Once they are completed, we will meet and choose who will bring to campus within the next three weeks."

There have been about 40 applicants from all over the world. Phersson said eight were chosen for the Skype session, with two alternates. The number of candidates who would come to Mount Pleasant for campus visits has not been decided. Phersson said it would depend on how many applicants meet the needs of the college and how the committee feels about the candidate being a good fit.

The committee is looking for a candidate who demonstrates the values of CMU, and upholds a commitment to students and academic excellence. Phersson said it is also important the new dean understands the niche CMU fills in Michigan. The dean also must be innovative when it comes to finances.

"What we are asking is do they have a sense of what CMU is all about, did they do research on us and want to come here because we are such a special place?" Phersson said. "We want someone who has selected us and done their homework."

The committee will make recommendations to Provost Michael Gealt, who will decide who will visit.

After Salma Ghanem resigned as dean in May 2014, Gealt said he is looking for a candidate who has previously held a significant tenured academic or administrative position, someone with administrative and budgetary experience, but also needs candidates who have made major contributions to their former university academics.

The university is collaborating with Academic Search, a firm used by higher education to identify prospective candidates. The organization posted a dean profile online that explains the requirements and responsibilities for the position.

Characteristics listed on the profile include strong academic and scholarly achievements, an understanding of faculty and strong problem solving and leadership skills.

"We have a very good interim dean in place so the college is in good shape, but making those kinds of decisions are very critical for the future of the university," Phersson said.

Gealt and President George Ross will make the final determination on which candidate is hired.

Members of the search committee

Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services

Sherry Knight, vice president of University Communications

Mark Baczewski, director of development for CCFA

Larry Burditt, chair of the Department of Art and Design

Cali Clark, director of employment and compensation for Human Resources

Latoya Lain, faculty member in the School of Music

Senior Haley Mcinerney, a student representative

Ann Miller, director of faculty employment and compensation for Faculty Personnel Services

Michael Papa, faculty member in the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts

Dave Patton, chair of the geography department

Roger Rehm, vice president of Information Technology

William Sykes, faculty in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts

Pete Vermeire, associate dean of the College of Science and Technology

James Wojcik, faculty in the Department of Journalism

Sheila Roupe, coordinator of the Center for Clinical Experiences and CEHS Special Projects 

Jon Humiston, special assistant to the provost.


About Malachi Barrett

Editor-in-Chief Malachi Barrett is Battle Creek senior majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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