Interviews underway for new dean

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Valeria Sabate

Staff Writer

 

Florida Southern College is making changes in the administration. Dr. James Byrd, dean of arts and sciences at FSC, is looking at other options in his professional career.

“Dean Byrd has been here a good amount of time. He is a very valuable member of leadership team. He knows a lot about college and its policies and procedures. Anytime that you lose somebody like that, particularly if it goes somewhere else there will be a little bit of transition time,” Dr. Kyle Fedler, provost at FSC, said.

The process started last year where the committee started to look for the next dean.

According to Fedler, the results of advertising the position for the next dean received around 80 applications online.

Fedler also mentioned that the committee did not expect to get that amount of applications. To him, this means that FSC is a “good place to work.”

“People who did their homework clearly knew it was a place that was fast rising, making great strides, and is also a wonderful place to live. It was a very attractive position for a lot of candidates,” Fedler said.

The college formed a committee of faculty members of old divisions, which is chaired by Bruce Darby, psychology professor at FSC. There, they established the profile that the school needs for the dean position. Afterwards, the committee built up the advertisement based on those characteristics.

The committee selected eight candidates within the applications and made Skype interviews back in October and November of 2012.

Once that step was completed, they selected four candidates. Face-to-face interview took place a couple of days before graduation 2012, according to Fedler.

The two candidates that were selected and will continue to the last steps were Brad Hollingshead from New York and Mark Denham from Ohio.

Students have helped throughout the process. The committee separated different groups of students to meet the candidates over lunch.

“The students were fantastic. They represented the college very well. They asked some good questions. I was very proud,” Fedler said.

“The candidate was very open to us. He asked us a lot of questions. He was interested in the students and all aspects of the college: the good and bad,” Michelle Wagner, a student from FSC, said.

With these meetings with the students and candidates, the committee will be able to compare and contrast the candidates’ answers.

“We also think that somebody coming in with some new ideas, new approaches and new perspectives, will obviously benefit the art and sciences,” Fedler said.

Fedler believes that both candidates bring with them “extensive skills and experience of leading academic programs.” According to him, interviewing took a lot of time so he is sure that the candidates will bring “interesting” ideas.

“We feel very good about the two finalists,” Fedler said.

 


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