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New Dean Suggestions Expected This Week

By Ramy A. Arnaout
Executive Editor

An advisory committee will likely announce its recommendations for the future of the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs by week's end, according to Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Linn W. Hobbs, who chairs the committee.

The committee is expected to recommend the division of UESA into two offices, one for undergraduate education and one for student life and student affairs, according to committee members.

The committee will also set forth its recommendations for a dean for undergraduate education to help replace outgoing UESA Dean Arthur C. Smith, who will retire in June, said committee member Arley Kim '95.

The committee has interviewed close to 50 prospective candidates for the position since it began interviewing in December, and will present President Charles M. Vest with a short list as part of its recommendations, said committee member Philip W. Tracadas '95.

Committee members declined to name the candidates under consideration.

Choice of a dean for student life, who in one scenario under consideration by the committee would report to the dean for undergraduate education, is "not for us to decide," Kim said. That choice would fall to the new UE dean and the president, she said.

Kim is one of five students on the committee, which also contains five faculty members.

Recommendations not final

Division of the office has not been the only model under discussion, said Professor of Political Science Kenneth A. Oye, a member of the committee. "This is a committee that is exploring all possibilities every permutation and combination possible," he said.

"That is one of the models, but I'm not sure that that is what we'll settle on," Tracadas said.

But the plan does appear to be at the top of the committee's list, in large part because it addresses members' concerns of making the current responsibilities of the office of UESA more manageable.

"There probably has to be some split up of the two parts of the office," Hobbs said. "It may be useful to have a separate dean of student life who would actively pursue" student affairs, he said. "The nature of that will depend [to some degree] on the nature of who is selected for this."

"I think the issue is simply that there is so much to to do," said Harriet Ritvo, associate dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and a member of the committee.

"On the one hand we didn't like a completely independent model because it's clear that undergraduate life and undergraduate education are intertwined and should be coordinated," Ritvo said. "But it seems like if there's only one big dean they only have so much time and attention."

Hobbs agreed. "There's some utility to having two different structures looking after things instead of one office running the show," he said.

"Specifics have to be left to the new people," said committee member Susan L. Ipri G.