Dean search continues for two colleges

Finalists in Marquette’s search for new deans of the College of Engineering and the Helen Way Klinger College of Arts & Sciences begin visiting campus this week. Provost John Pauly said he hopes to make announcements on both positions by mid-March.

During these visits, candidates will meet with important university stakeholders and participate in an open forum where students and faculty are free to ask questions and voice concerns, Pauly said.

“There will be a long period at the end for a one-on-one interview with me,” Pauly said.

The Search

Arts & Sciences has been without a permanent dean since December 2007, following the retirement of Michael McKinney. College of Engineering Dean Stan Jaskolski announced in August 2009 that he will retire this June.

Pauly said these vacancies led to the creation of search committees last September, consisting of faculty members, one dean, one trustee and alumni from each college.

Arts & Sciences held a search last year but stopped it when it became apparent there would be more possible candidates, Pauly said in a March 19, 2009, Tribune article.

Richard Friman, a professor of political science, is the search chair for the College of Arts & Sciences. He guided the committee in determining qualifications for a perspective dean, he said.

Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm, took these desired characteristics and produced a field of more than 400 candidates, Friman said.

“We have a very strong finalist pool and are looking to conclude successfully,” he said.

Kyuil Kim, a professor of engineering, chairs the Engineering dean search. Kim said the college worked with executive search firm Baker and Associates LLC throughout the process.

“I think they did a great job,” he said, “They found a very qualified list of candidates.”

College of Engineering

Robert Bishop, a professor of engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, arrived on campus Wednesday. His open forum is at 12:30 p.m. today in room 157 of the Alumni Memorial Union.

Bishop was chairman of the department of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics from 2003 to 2009, creating the Integrated Design Engineering and Science concept. The $280 million project is similar to Marquette’s Discovery Learning Complex, Bishop said.

The other candidate is David Cohn, who currently serves as the director of business informatics at IBM. Prior to working at IBM, he was an assistant professor of engineering at Southern Methodist University and a professor of engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Cohn said his experiences in both academia and industry have given him a unique perspective on engineering education. His open forum will take place Feb. 24.

College of Arts & Sciences

The only Arts & Sciences dean candidate from a Jesuit institution is Jodi O’Brien, a professor of sociology at Seattle University. She arrives today and her forum will take place Friday in AMU 157 at 12:30 p.m.

“I’m a big picture thinker, but I’m very good with details,” she said. “Today, all institutions of higher education have to grapple with the complexities of modern life.”

She said these complexities require the fresh and innovative approach reflected in the Jesuit mission.

A candidate from the Midwest is Steven Leigh, professor of anthropology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Being a part of this community would be exciting and challenging, while offering a range of creative opportunities,” he said in an e-mail. “The idea of cura personalis is fundamentally important for an active, engaged and knowledgeable citizenry.”

Leigh will be on campus March 1 and 2.

The final candidate is Howard Brown, a professor of history at Binghamton University State University of New York.

Brown said he has always welcomed challenges throughout his career. Taking advantage of Milwaukee’s cultural offerings and placing a greater emphasis on the fine arts is a potential point of improvement for the college, he said.

Brown will be on campus Feb. 24 and 25.