Monday, December 5, 2011

One Dean's Search

The chair of the Dean of Students Search Committee wrote this to the President of the Faculty Senate and has allowed to let me post it for anyone who is interested.

I am responding to your request for information on how the Dean of Students search has handled, per Dr. Westbrooks request. Personally, I am glad that I was asked, as I have been trying to decide whether or not to respond to the post on the faculty blog that didn’t seem to have all of the details straight on this specific search, which is unfair to Dr. McKinney and the search committee who worked so hard to bring a solid candidate to campus.

What I have outlined below are the 1) qualifications of the chair of the committee as a faculty member, 2) composition of the committee, 3) process followed, 4) notification process and response to faculty, and 5) outcomes.

First, please know as a faculty member, I chaired the search three separate times in order to find this candidate. While I am serving as the Interim Associate Dean, I have never given up my faculty status – I have taught courses, advised, and had to complete portfolios for retention just as everyone else. In fact, now that the CTRE is fully functioning with a focus on faculty needs, I am working to reposition the LAC with a more student focus and then will be returning in Fall full time to my role of Associate Professor.

Second, the composition of the search committee for the DOS is listed below. It was a solid group of individuals who had a broad knowledge of student affairs. There were two faculty, four directors from the area, one civil service and one student.

• Chair, Liz Osika, Associate Professor in COE and Interim Associate Dean
• Yvonne Patterson, Associate Professor, Counseling Center
• Fernando Diaz, Director of the Latino Resource Center
• Jason Ferguson, Director of Student Activities
• Stella O’Keekee or Raven Curling, Director and Manager of Housing
and Residence Life
• Lee Junkins, Director of the Career Service Center
• Julie O’Banion, Administrative Clerk, Dean of Students Office
• David Anderson, IBHE Student Representative
• Six students who are active in student affairs were part of the on-campus interview process

Third, during the process the search committee reviewed over 100+ resumes, made 24 phone screening calls, and brought eight different people to campus beginning back in November 2010. The first two candidates we brought onto campus in December were not recommended for hire. We resumed the search again in February and brought three
candidates to campus. The committee recommended a candidate from the University of Akron and everything was approved for him to come to campus. You might recall that the Provost even made the announcement to campus that he was coming. However, at the very last minute he decided not to make the transition to CSU. Finally, the search was reopened in June. We brought three candidates to campus, of which the
committee made the recommendation for Dr. McKinney to the Provost.

Fourth, faculty were notified for each of the campus visits that they were welcome to come to the open interview session. The only faculty member that I recall who actually showed was Laurie Walter. I have pasted one of the email announcements that were sent to all faculty through the Moodle site at the bottom of this message.

Finally, I would like to discuss the outcome. Dr. McKinney was a top candidate as rated by by all of the students and individuals who were part of the process. The students especially stated that they felt that they could relate to her and that she knew what to do to help make the improvements needed within Student Affairs. She brought to campus a broad range of skills including background in assessment,
accreditation, and student services, just to name a few. She held positions at the level of Associate Dean, Assistant Director, and even was a faculty member for two years and a police officer for five.

If you would like more information about the exact details, please let me know.

Whatever you can do to dispel the belief that Dr. McKinney was someone who was brought to campus by the president would be appreciated. As I said at the beginning of this post, that is false information that really discounts the efforts put forth by the committee and the quality individual that CSU is lucky to have in the position of Dean of Students.

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