Having already participated in closed-door meetings of the undergraduate dean search committee, the Yale College Council continues to play an influential role in finding a successor to departing Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead.
YCC officers attended the committee’s Wednesday meeting after Yale President Richard Levin and his 11-member faculty search committee charged the council with soliciting student nominations for dean on its YaleStation portal. The YCC has received hundreds of nominations through its Web site, YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said Thursday.
YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 said current plans to solicit student input for the search include an online forum and “office hours” held by YCC representatives in the residential colleges.
“We intend to maintain constant communication [with the search committee] throughout the entire process,” Mogul said.
Mogul said students seem to want a new dean who embodies many of the qualities students see in Brodhead — good public speaking ability, approachability, compassion and charisma. Mogul said he thinks students would also like the new dean to be equally concerned about students and academic affairs.
Theater and English professor Joseph Roach, the search committee chairman, said the YCC gave the committee a list of student nominations collected through YaleStation at Wednesday’s meeting.
“The sooner we get a picture of student opinion, the longer we have to work with that,” Roach said. “We talked about the search, the characteristics the faculty and students were looking for in a dean, and we talked about specific nominations.”
YCC Representative Alan Kennedy-Shaffer ’06 said he thinks the YCC’s role in the search process is inappropriate.
“I’m not convinced that this is an issue for the YCC,” Kennedy-Shaffer said.
Kennedy-Shaffer said YCC officers have not involved representatives in the process.
“Supposedly the YCC is helping with the search,” Kennedy-Shaffer said. “But what’s really happening is that Elliott’s helping with the search.”
But Sinha said the YCC is simply “the messenger” to the committee.
“We’re committed to being unbiased,” Sinha said.
He said representatives will be involved, now that elections are over. He also said he thinks the YCC is justified in taking a role in the process.
“This new council is going to hit the ground running on this,” Sinha said. “We want as much input from the student body as possible … I would say that it is the YCC’s place.”
In recent weeks, administrators and professors have said possible candidates could include Astronomy Department Chairman Charles Bailyn, Political Science Chairman Ian Shapiro, Whitney Humanities Center Director Maria Rosa Menocal, Berkeley College Master and English professor John Rogers, History Department Chairman Jon Butler and former English Department Chairwoman Linda Peterson.
Administrators and professors said this week there is an “absolute” possibility that Graduate School Dean Peter Salovey is also being considered for the undergraduate deanship.
On the YaleStation Web site, the YCC said Bailyn, Shapiro, Menocal, Rogers, Butler and Peterson “have been suggested as possible strong candidates.”
Roach, who declined to comment on specific candidates, said YCC officials will attend a search committee meeting next Wednesday.