Committee Seeks a New VP of Academic Affairs and Dean of College
Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 20:02
Last spring, the College initiated a search for a new Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College following the announcement of Dean Timothy Austin’s departure. Dean Austin held the position from 2006 to 2013, and was then named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Dean Margaret Freije has fulfilled the position’s duties as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College for this school year; however, a search committee—comprised of students, faculty, and administrators—is in the process of searching for a permanent hire.
In a release issued by the search committee and Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm retained for this hiring process, “the Vice President and Dean will serve as chief academic officer of the College, overseeing the faculty (hiring, development, and evaluation), all academic programs, and several administrative offices that support academic life. The Vice President and Dean heads a 477-person staff and a $55.2 million annual operating budget.”
From the applicant pool, four candidates were selected to visit the campus over the past few weeks. During these visits, candidates met with College administrators as well as participated in open forums for both the faculty and the campus community. The four candidates include Mark Brondl, Ph.D., Margaret Freije, Ph.D., Linda Eisenmann, Ed.D., and Deena Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Mark Brondl, the first to visit the College, currently serves as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs: Budget and Research at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. He has a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Washington University and serves as the George W. Brackenridge Distinguished Professor of Biology at Trinity.
Margaret Freije, the current Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at Holy Cross, is also a candidate for the permanent position. She has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Brown University and is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Holy Cross.
Linda Eisenmann is Provost, Professor of Education, and Professor of History at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She holds an Ed.D. in History of Education from Harvard University.
Deena Gonzalez, the most recent candidate to visit the College, is Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of History at UC Berkley and is a Professor of Chicana/o Studies at Loyola Marymount.
To further involve the student body, following all of the candidates’ visits, the Search Committee invited the campus community to give feedback on the potential hires through an online survey. Specifically, participants were asked to rank the candidates based on their ability to lead, inspire, and develop faculty; encourage excellence and innovation in academic programs; serve as a compelling advocate for the College’s academic mission; promote diversity and inclusion; provide effective senior administrative leadership; promote the College and its mission; and successfully secure and manage resources.
As to the final decision, the Search Committee disclosed, “As the President prepares to make his decision about this appointment, he will consider the Search Committee’s presentation of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate as well as information gleaned from the referencing process conducted by the search firm. Our Search Committee will rely heavily on comments we receive from you.” This statement ensures the student body will have its voice heard in the hiring process of the new VP of Academic Affairs and Dean of College.