April 2, 2004

Dean Hunt Continues

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While April showers welcomed students this month, three candidates will visit East Hill vying to be chosen as the new dean of the College of Human Ecology.

A search committee, consisting of administrators and faculty members, whittled the list of potentials down to three at the end of last month. The three candidates are: Steven H. Zeisel, associate dean for research at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health; Prof. Patricia Greenfield, psychology, University of California: Los Angeles; and Lisa Staiano-Coico Ph.D. ’81, the Weill Medical College’s vice provost for medical affairs.

The committee searched for individuals with strong leadership skills, numerous research credentials and the ability to advance the college’s mission among other qualities according to the University’s position announcement. In evaluating the chosen finalists, the three are all “very strong,” according to Suzanne Loker, the Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise, and a member of the search committee. “All three candidates are quite good, so we’ll see what happens,” said Provost Biddy Martin, chair of the search committee.

While it was announced that three finalists were chosen on March 23, observers had to wait three days until the names were released. Martin said that this was because one candidate request more time to resolve issues with their current employer. In addition, a fourth potential dean dropped out of the interviewing process due to personal reasons.

In the next step of the evaluation procedure, the final three candidates will come onto campus for two day visits, meeting with a variety of faculty members and administrators — including President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77.

Martin said that the committee hopes to receive feedback from students and faculty during each individual’s visit. Zeisel, the first potential dean to be interviewed at this stage, came onto campus yesterday and said that he was “very pleased” in being one of the finalists.

He said that if he was chosen as dean, he would use the resources of the college for the issue of public health and also raise more money from alumni donors for human ecology programs.

“I’ve known the faculty of Cornell for a long time,” Zeisel said. “It’s a great school.”

Martin and Loker said that after the last candidate meeting on April 16, the committee in the next week will make a decision in submitting a list of names to the president. Lehman will make the final decision.

The conclusion of this dean search comes after several changes made during the first year of Lehman’s tenure. In December, new deans for the College of Arts and Sciences and Law School were selected and the announcement of the decision on who will become the next College of Architecture, Art and Planning dean is expected this month.

In addition, two new vice presidents for University relations have been installed, a new university vice provost has been appointed for this July and a search is underway for a new chief financial officer is currently underway.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Writer