Search for new dean begins

An internal search for a new undergraduate dean began in earnest at 4 p.m. Friday when an 11-member faculty committee met with University President Richard Levin for the first time.

Levin charged the committee, chaired by Theater Studies and English professor Joseph Roach, with soliciting nominations from faculty and students. Levin asked the members to begin compiling a list of three to five candidates to replace departing Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead. Levin said the search would be completed before March’s spring recess.

“I discussed with the committee what the qualifications I think the dean needed to have,” Levin said after the meeting. “I spoke about the process they would need to engage in and what kind of criteria they should think about.”

Although students are not on the committee, Levin solicited nominations from students in an e-mail sent to the Yale community this afternoon. During Friday’s meeting, Levin said he urged the committee members to work with the Yale College Council to consider nominations and comments from students throughout the search process.

Brodhead will leave the University this July to assume the Duke University presidency. The search committee includes two residential college masters, one department chair, three directors of undergraduate studies, and senior professors representing each of Yale College’s four academic distributional groups. More than half of the committee members served on the Committee on Yale College Education, which last April completed a comprehensive undergraduate curricular review.

Levin said he would not rule out the possibility of tapping a search committee member for dean, but if any one member emerged as a candidate, that professor would need to resign from the committee.

At Yale, there is not an historical precedent for search committee members becoming candidates, History professor emeritus Gaddis Smith, a Yale historian, said this week.

Administrators and professors said this week that possible candidates 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.

Professors who were considered for the provost and Graduate School dean positions last year, as well as members of the academic review committee, are likely candidates to replace Brodhead, professors said. Bailyn, Shapiro, Menocal and Butler served on the curricular review committee and Peterson led a writing advisory group for the review.

Levin said Roach’s experience as chair of the 18-month search that led to the appointment of School of Drama Dean James Bundy in October 2001 makes Roach qualified to lead the undergraduate dean search.

“He has the experience and judgment,” Levin said. “I have complete confidence in him.”

Compared to Roach’s challenging international search for the Drama School head, Levin said the undergraduate dean search will be less widespread — top candidates will likely emerge from within the Yale faculty.

The other members of the undergraduate dean search committee are Economics professor Donald Brown; History professor John Gaddis; History professor Glenda Gilmore; Jonathan Edwards College Master and Engineering professor Gary Haller; Religious Studies professor Christine Hayes; Morse College Master and Psychology professor Frank Keil; Ethics, Politics and Economics Director of Undergraduate Studies and Political Science professor Pauline Jones Luong; American Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies and History professor Stephen Pitti; Physics Chairman Ramamurti Shankar; and Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Director of Undergraduate Studies Scott Strobel.

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