The search for an Honors Tutorial College dean will resume in the near future, while an interim dean will be tapped to lead the College of Health and Human Services beginning July 1, Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl announced today.
Searches to fill both positions were temporarily suspended in December to allow time for discussions about academic realignment and restructuring. As a result of those conversations, which Krendl and the academic deans conducted during the winter intersession, the provost decided to move forward with an internal search for the Honors Tutorial College dean and to name an interim dean for the College of Health and Human Services.
“The deans and I explored a variety of different scenarios with the goal in mind of trying to find ways to academically strengthen units that might also offer potential reductions in administrative costs,” Krendl said. “When we began our discussions, we had no notion of where they might lead. Given the uncertainty we faced, it made sense to halt the searches while the conversations got under way.”
Krendl noted that all colleges entered into the discussion, not only the Honors Tutorial College and College of Health and Human Services.
Harold Molineu is serving as interim dean of Honors Tutorial College for the 2008-09 academic year. He replaced former Dean Ann Fidler, who resigned the post to accept a one-year appointment as interim associate provost for strategic initiatives. College of Health and Human Services Dean Gary Neiman has announced he will retire from that position in June, but remain with the university in a part-time capacity to co-lead the Quarters to Semesters Conversion Office.
Krendl said the Honors Tutorial College search committee would reconvene in early February in hopes of having a new dean in place by July 1. The committee will distribute an announcement about requirements for the position soon to faculty and deans.
The provost planned to meet with College of Health and Human Services faculty this afternoon to discuss her process for selecting an interim dean to succeed Neiman.
Although the possibility of steep budget reductions in the state’s next biennial budget spurred the original conversations, Krendl stressed that strengthening the university’s academic pursuits has always remained the most important consideration.
“There’s a need to sound out hypotheses that offer the potential to enhance our capacity for interdisciplinarity, to strategically develop our academic strengths and to fully capitalize on current and future resources,” she said.
Noting that similar conversations are occurring across Ohio and the nation, she added, “It isn’t surprising given that academic structures often owe their existence not to present needs but to historical circumstances. Current configurations may or may not create the optimal administrative structure for academic programs in the here and now.”
-- From staff reports