University President Peter Salovey is weighing the possibility of naming a committee of students to advise him on the selection of the next deans of Yale College and the Graduate School.
The committee, if formed, would be in addition to a faculty committee charged with considering candidates for the same positions. Thus far, though, no concrete decisions have been made by Salovey — who would name both committees — on the makeup of the faculty group or existence of the student one.
“I’m very open to considering different models for student input, including formally appointed liaisons as well as providing for a parallel student committee that would provide input,” Salovey said late last week. “I think there is a lot to be said for ideas like that.”
Salovey said two primary challenges are weighing in his consideration of the advisory committees: how to listen to student input and how to create an environment in which faculty are comfortable openly discussing a candidate’s qualifications.
Either committee, though, would be entirely advisory. The ultimate decision for who fills the shoes of departing Deans Mary Miller and Thomas Pollard lies with Salovey and, technically, the Yale Corporation.
Still, administrators said Salovey would be unlikely to entirely disregard the recommendations of a faculty advisory committee.
Neither committee will be formed until the Yale Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — makes a decision on reforming the structure of Yale’s faculty governance. The Corporation next meets on Feb. 21 and 22, and Salovey is expected to create any advisory committees in mid-March.