Formation of the Search Advisory Committee for the Dean of the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College

September 3rd, 2013

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Last spring, Professor Gloria Waters, formerly Dean of BU’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College for eight years, was appointed as Vice President and Associate Provost for Research.  At that time, Professor Kathleen Morgan was appointed as Dean ad interim for the 2013-14 academic year.  We are now ready to undertake a national search for a permanent Dean of Sargent College.  Such transitions in leadership provide important opportunities for us to reflect, as a community, on the experiences and attributes desired of the individuals charged with providing vision and direction for our academic units.

The process for constituting a Dean Search Advisory Committee is outlined in the BU Faculty Handbook and specifies that: “the advisory committee shall consist of three faculty members elected by the faculty of the School for which a dean is to be selected, two faculty members elected by the Faculty Council from other Schools, and as many as three members designated by the provost.”

The selection of a new dean is among the most important decisions we make as we continue to develop, enhance, and promote excellence at Boston University.  The faculty members that serve on the advisory committee will have the responsibility for directing the search effort and should be among our most thoughtful, engaged, and committed scholars, teachers, and leaders.  Potential committee members should demonstrate the capability to proactively attract and recruit outstanding candidates for the Sargent deanship; the faculty most well positioned to carry out this work will maintain   significant research and professional profiles within their disciplines. Note that no member of the Search Advisory Committee may be considered for the Dean position.

Accordingly, I am requesting that faculty in Sargent College organize internally to solicit nominations and to elect three faculty representatives to the Search Advisory Committee.  I also invite the Faculty Council to issue a call for nominations of candidates from the population of faculty on both campuses, external to Sargent College, so that they can elect two members to serve on the Committee – note that membership on the Faculty Council itself is not an eligibility requirement for election to the Search Advisory Committee.  I request submission of the results of both these elections by September 30.  Following receipt, I will appoint additional members and identify an individual to serve as Chair, so that the committee will be assembled and prepared to begin its work by mid-October.  Administrative support to facilitate the work of the Search Advisory Committee will be provided by the Office of the Provost.

The Sargent Dean Search Advisory Committee is advisory to President Brown and me and is charged with:

  • Refining the initial position description;
  • Actively soliciting nominations for candidates from appropriate sources within the University and nationally;
  • Actively recruiting outstanding candidates who have a record of administrative leadership and achievement and an academic profile suitable for appointment at the level of a tenured senior professor at Boston University;
  • Evaluating the qualifications and assessing the strength of nominees and applicants;
  • Consulting with the faculty of Sargent and other College and University stakeholders on finalists; and,
  • Presenting to me the names of 3-5 qualified candidates, outlining the strengths and limitations of each, for final selection by the President and approval by the Board of Trustees.

The members of the Sargent Dean Search Advisory Committee should not vote as part of its process and deliberations, rather the work should be accomplished by discussion and consensus.  I request that the committee aim to conclude its work and submit its recommendations to me by April 4, 2014.

Sargent College is a point of excellence at Boston University, recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in advancing, preserving, disseminating and applying knowledge in the health and rehabilitation sciences.  Identifying a dynamic leader as Sargent’s next Dean is essential to the further advancement of the University’s strategic goals.  For this reason, the work of the Sargent Dean Search Advisory Committee is especially important, and I urge faculty members to contribute their expertise and assistance to the formation of this group.

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