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Dean Search Down To 3 Candidates

By Todd J. Schwartzfarb

The field of candidates to be the next Associate Dean for Residence and Campus Activities has been winnowed to three, after three months of deliberation by the Institute's dean selection committee.

On Friday the committee submitted its choices to Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith, who will make the final decision.

The new dean will replace former Associate Dean James R. Tewhey, who resigned in April.

In searching for candidates, "We tried to strike a balance between managerial skills, how they interacted with students and subordinates, and leadership skills," said Feniosky A. Pena G, a student on the selection committee.

Pena said that everyone on the committee also had his own personal criteria. Pena himself considered open-mindedness to different peoples and cultures most important, he said.

The three final candidates were chosen from an initial pool of 145 applicants, according to committee chair and Director of Minority Education Judy Jackson.

Over three-quarters of the candidates were eliminated in the first cut, leaving about 30 people, and 10 candidates remained after the second cut. From that group, three withdrew and the committee eliminated four more to bring the final count down to three, Jackson said.

Pena said he thought all three final candidates are very competent, and he complimented the selection committee on its professionalism and efficiency.

Although the new dean will generally have the same responsibilities as before -- including jurisdiction over the housing office, the Interfraternity Council, the housemaster system, student affairs, and Residence/Orientation Week -- Jackson noted an important change in the dean's position.

Instead of the RCA being explicitly responsible for discipline hearings, the hearings will become a function of Smith's office and will be handled more broadly by a committee. Jackson said that this change will take the pressure off the dean and decrease the adversarial aspect of his job.

Jackson said that because the dean for residence and campus activites was in charge of discipline in years past, he was much more susceptible "to be construed as an enemy of the student body instead of as a friend."

This change will improve the dean's ability to "help student activities and facilitate a better quality of life for the student body," Jackson said.