January 26, 2009

Fuchs Assembles Committee To Find New Dean of Engineering

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On Jan. 1, Kent Fuchs replaced Biddy Martin as Cornell’s provost after serving as dean of the College of Engineering. Chris Ober, who was the associate dean of research and graduate studies, took over as interim dean for the engineering college when Fuchs vacated the position.
Fuchs has assembled the Engineering Dean Search Committee, which is comprised mostly of engineering faculty. Vice Provost John Siliciano is acting as committee chair. Other faculty serving on the committee include Director of Institutional Research and Planning Michael Matier, who is serving as search manager, and Director of Human Resources for the College of Engineering Julie Delay, who is helping staff the search.
“We plan to move the search forward as expeditiously as possible, as we seek to identify an outstanding individual to lead the College,” Siliciano stated in an e-mail on Jan. 12.
In the e-mail sent to engineering faculty, staff, students and alumni, Siliciano asked for recommendations of individuals to apply for the dean position, as well as any sources that might make further recommendations for individuals to apply.
“Ideally, we’d like to have a dean by the end of the academic year,” Siliciano stated. He explained that since the search process typically takes anywhere from six to nine months, there is a chance that the dean will not be chosen until the fall. In any event, Ober will stay on as interim-dean until the new dean is selected.
The search committee is looking for the best-qualified candidates, both within Cornell and outside, according to an e-mail sent on Nov. 13 by Siliciano. After a group of approximately 150 to 200 applicants and nominees has been gathered, the search committee will sift out the people they feel are best qualified, examining in particular the applicants’ “academic credentials and leadership potential,” according to the Search for the Dean of the College of Engineering website.
In following months, the committee will conduct preliminary screening interviews for eight to 15 applicants. Three to five final candidates will be invited to Cornell for interviews conducted by faculty, staff, students and alumni. Final recommendations will then be passed on to Fuchs who will make a decision “in consultation with” President David Skorton. Their selection of a final candidate will be sent to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for approval.