Search begins for new CAS dean

The College of Arts and Sciences is due for a change in leadership after the resignation of its dean.

Dean Antonio Cepeda-Benito, who has led the college since July of 2012, is stepping down, effective July 15. He will be replaced by an interim dean before a new permanent dean is selected.

Benito said his successor will be chosen by a committee of faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni with the task of finding a new dean. “That committee, in collaboration with the Provost and President, will draft a job description and a list of the qualities they are looking for in the next Dean of CAS in accordance with the wishes of the faculty,” he said in an email.

“The process is pretty clearly prescribed,” said Provost David Rosowsky, who will help oversee the selection of the new dean. “We have constructed this process around the search for the interim that we think allows us to gather important input from faculty and staff, and also to be able to identify one swiftly.”

Over the past two weeks, Rosowsky has met with around 75 faculty members to ask what they would like to see in the new dean. They want to see a leader that understands the current challenges higher education is facing, is committed to diversity and inclusiveness and is able to lead, motivate and make decisions, according to a memo from the office of the provost.

“The new dean needs to have a wide background, because we’re dealing with arts and sciences as these are two separated fields,” said first-year psychology major, Chris Keim. He also believes that the dean needs to have a more visible presence on campus. “I had no idea who our dean was, or what he did,” Keim said.

The new dean will serve the students as well as the faculty, and as such should make student interaction and motivation a priority as well, he said.