Update on Dean of Faculty Transition and Search

Dear Members of the Faculty,

I write to share my thinking and seek your advice about the transition in the Dean of Faculty role.  First, I am very grateful to Matt Auer for making arrangements to continue at Bates through this academic year.  This has been a particularly busy year, and Matt’s continued leadership will ensure that we bring searches and other projects to a successful conclusion.

For the 2017-18 academic year, I expect to name an Interim Dean of Faculty to serve in the role while we conduct a search for Matt’s successor.

Based on initial conversations with the CFG and AAC, the consensus is that we should form the search committee this spring, so that we can launch a search for the permanent dean promptly in the fall semester.  I suggest that we use a combination of elected and appointed seats on the search committee, which is the approach used in the last Dean of the Faculty search, so that we can make sure to achieve a representative committee across a variety of dimensions.  I have spoken with CFG about this approach, and they are prepared to assist with the election process.

In the coming weeks, I also plan to identify a search firm to assist us with the search in the fall.  I think it is best to move promptly so that we can secure the firm we want before they have other commitments and so they can keep eyes and ears open for potential candidates before the formal search process begins.  I have asked Christina Estabrook, who served as the lead staff person for institutional planning, to staff the search and take responsibility for all operational matters.

In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts about any aspect of the plans or process outlined above, including any recommendations you may have about who should serve as Interim Dean.  Looking ahead, it would be very helpful to understand your thinking about the role of the Dean of Faculty, and the challenges and opportunities you see as particularly salient for the next dean.

Please feel free to write to me at dofsearch@bates.edu, a dedicated email account that will be seen only by me and Christina Estabrook. Additionally, although I am traveling for the college a fair amount in the near future, I plan to use my time on campus to consult with relevant committees and speak with individuals who may wish to discuss any aspect of the transition.  Please feel free to be in touch if you would like to schedule a meeting.  I will also create one or more opportunities for open office hours over the course of the semester.

Thank you in advance for your interest and engagement in this vitally important process.

All best,