Dean search to start soon

A University faculty search committee will soon begin the selection process for a new undergraduate dean, only one month after Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead was named the next president of Duke University.

The search committee will be comprised only of faculty members, who represent a range of academic disciplines. While students will not sit on the committee, Yale President Richard Levin said the committee members will consider nominations and comments from students throughout the process.

The committee will look for candidates whom the faculty respects and who care passionately about the University’s students and educational philosophy, many administrators and professors said. They said they expect Brodhead’s replacement will come from within the Yale faculty.

Professors who were considered for the provost and Graduate School dean positions last year, as well as members of the Committee on Yale College Education — which last April released the University’s first comprehensive undergraduate curricular review in 30 years — are likely candidates to replace Brodhead, they said.

Administrators and professors said possible candidates for dean could include Astronomy Chairman Charles Bailyn, Political Science Chairman Ian Shapiro, Whitney Humanities Center Director Maria Rosa Menocal, Berkeley College Master and English professor John Rogers, History Chairman Jon Butler and English Chairwoman Linda Peterson.

Bailyn, Shapiro, Menocal and Butler served on the curricular review committee and Peterson led a writing advisory group for the review.

“The review committee was a great education on how Yale College works,” Graduate School Dean Peter Salovey said. “There would certainly be advantages to the next dean who was a part of that process.”

History professor emeritus Gaddis Smith, a former Yale Corporation member, said he thinks the success of the curricular review gives “momentum” to the candidacies of the review committee members.

Salovey said he thinks department chairs, directors of undergraduate studies and residential college masters will make strong candidates because of their administrative experience and connections to students.

While the search committee may consider professors and administrators from outside of Yale for the undergraduate deanship, if Levin follows historical trends, he will appoint someone from within the University community.

Administrators last appointed an undergraduate dean from outside of Yale in 1907, when they tapped a professor from the University of Wisconsin, said Smith, who is writing a book that chronicles Yale in the 20th century.

Levin may appoint a professor with experience in the humanities or related disciplines in an effort to balance the University’s top academic administrators, professors said. As professors, Levin, Yale Provost Susan Hockfield and Salovey taught economics, neurobiology and psychology, respectively. Brodhead is an English scholar.

Physics chairman Ramamurti Shankar said he thinks it is important for the administration to “seem fair to all areas” and reflect a balance of academic disciplines. But some professors and administrators said a candidate’s departmental affiliation is less important.

“I don’t think we should be bound by having a humanities person necessarily, but I think we should get the best person,” Yale Center for International and Area Studies Director Gustav Ranis said. “That’s a consideration, but should not be so overwhelming.”

Levin said he met with Yale College Council President Elliott Mogul ’05 to discuss student input during the search. The YCC will solicit nominations and comments from students on the YaleStation Web site later this week, Mogul said.

Mogul said he was initially worried that students would not serve on the search committee, but reached a compromise with Levin.

“At first I was concerned because I wanted to make sure there was student involvement,” Mogul said. “But what he said — and I think it makes sense — is that a large portion of what the dean does is managing the faculty, so it’s important to know the dynamic of the faculty.”

Former Yale President Howard Lamar said the 1992 search committee that made Brodhead dean did not include students, although student input was considered.

Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead '68 GRD '71 (center) walks on Duke University's West Campus with two student members of their presidential search committee, Devon MacWilliam (left) and Louis D'Amico (right). Brodhead, who has served as dean for 11 years and been at Yale for 40 years, will assume the presidency of Duke this July.
Courtesy DukeUniversity
Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead '68 GRD '71 (center) walks on Duke University's West Campus with two student members of their presidential search committee, Devon MacWilliam (left) and Louis D'Amico (right). Brodhead, who has served as dean for 11 years and been at Yale for 40 years, will assume the presidency of Duke this July.

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