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Sloan, Engineering Schools Begin Searches for Replacement Deans

Recent changes in the MIT administration have prompted the search for new deans in the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management.

The promotion of previous Dean of the Engineering School Robert A. Brown to provost has created an opening that is temporarily being filled by John Vander Sande, associate dean of engineering.

After completing his five-year term as the dean of the Sloan School of Management, Glen Urban stepped down. Urban plans to return to teaching after taking a leave of absence for a year. Richard Schmalensee is currently acting as Dean of the Sloan School.

Search committees appointed

Search committees have been appointed by President Charles M. Vest and Provost Robert A. Brown. Until the middle of October, the engineering committee is listening to more than 20 major leaders about the challenges facing the engineering community.

The committee will then report its findings on the future directions of engineering and draft an initial list of potential candidates. The interviews of these candidates will be completed before Thanksgiving.

Brown and senior administrators will then choose a new dean based on a ranked list of candidates provided by the committee.

Sloan search progresses

The Sloan search committee is currently considering candidates within and outside the school. It, too, is collecting input on the challenges and needs of the management school in order to define specific attributes required for the job. Unlike the engineering committee, Sloan has no preset timeframe for the selection and will not announce its progress until the right candidate is found.

Both schools are seeking candidates with "outstanding intellect, management ability, ability to work with others, regard for peers," according to David H. Marks, head of the engineering search. The new deans should also have an understanding of the ongoing transitions in their respective fields.

MIT has been in major transition since the end of the Cold War. Since then, academic focus has been shifting from primarily science-based engineering to a balance with engineering in the global economy. This transition is especially significant for the 350 faculty members, the 70 percent of MIT undergraduates, and the 50 percent of graduate students who make up the School of Engineering. The responsibilities of the new deans will reflect these changes, Marks said.