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After Months, Still No Discipline Dean Named to Replace Fischer

By Kirtana Raja

Nearly one year after William M. Fischer stepped down as associate dean for student conduct and risk management, MIT administrators are still seeking a replacement who will take over some of Fischer’s responsibilities in the newly-created position of associate dean of the office of student mediation and community standards.

Senior Associate Dean for Student Life Stephen D. Immerman, who is chairing the search committee, said that the committee hopes to present a candidate to Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict by the end of this school year.

The selection process began last fall with the redefinition of the role, a task undertaken by Benedict’s office and the Committee on Discipline. Benedict said that the major change is that the responsibility for risk management has been removed from the job definition for the new position. “Those responsibilities have been given to another staff member,” he said.

After the basic roles of the new position were finalized, Immerman was given the task of assembling a candidate search committee that consists of students, professors and administration staff. It includes a combination of administrators, Judicial Committee chairs, and a graduate student representative.

The committee first advertised the position last year and waited for resum s to flow in. It is currently evaluating them and will move on to interview candidates and make a choice to present to Benedict, who has the final say before an offer is extended.

Candidates for the new position must “be able to, first and foremost, educate the students about how to live within their own community and interact well with others,” said Immerman. The new dean will be in charge of trying to shed some light on exactly this matter of community and student interactions and conflicts within this community, he said.

In addition to working directly with Benedict’s office, new dean will also work with the judicial and mediation boards of student groups such as Judcomm, and with the Chair of the Committee of Discipline Professor Margery Resnick.

Fischer and his predecessor Steven J. Tyrell both left quickly, within 9 months and 1.5 years, respectively. Benedict said that “both of our prior Deans left for career opportunities. They were very experienced, senior staff members and it is not unusual for staff to pursue other career opportunities at this point in their careers.”