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February 22, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank you for your help, suggestions, and nominations regarding the selection of the next dean of the college/dean of the faculty. Last week, at the close of nominations, I had received approximately 100 nominations. The next step in this process is to talk with the top nominees, and consult with the FEC. It is my hope that my next communication to you regarding this search will be to announce the name of our next dean. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Kind regards,


January 26, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share the position description we will use to name a new dean of the faculty/dean of the college and to invite you to nominate a colleague for this important position. My thanks go to many of you who shared your ideas and suggestions about this position. Your input helped to shape the description I am sharing and I hope you will be back in touch with nominations as the process moves along.

I am also pleased to let you know that the members of the FEC have agreed to consult with me as the process moves forward. If members of that body are nominated and wish to be considered, they will of course not be included in the consultations. 

You can find the timeline for the search, the position description, and any future updates on my website at

Again, thanks to everyone who is helping to make this a strong and vibrant process. I hope to receive all nominations by February 15 and expect to name the new dean in March. 

With warm regards,


November 28, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share news about the process we will use to name a new Dean of the Faculty/Dean of the College and invite you to give input as we proceed.  Because I am new to the college and I am impressed by the considerable strength of the faculty, I hope to name a dean from among your ranks.  Here is the path we will follow.

The first step is to identify the challenges and opportunities that our next dean will face and the important qualities that he/she should possess to best lead in this environment. Please get me your thoughts on the important qualities of the next dean as well as your assessment of the challenges and opportunities that our next dean will encounter by December 22nd.  I plan to circulate a position prospectus in mid-January and ask for your nominations and applications by February 15, 2012. My goal is to name a new dean in March and have that person take office on July 1, 2012.

One line of conversation I will explore with each candidate concerns the incredible potential I see in the College at this moment in its history and new opportunities we can create to make the most of that force. Since my arrival, I have been impressed by your dedication to teaching and mentoring students. I have also been excited about the innovative spirit that pervades this college and the strength of our core mission in academic and student life. It is my goal to name a dean who will build on this fine foundation and take the College to higher levels still.

Of course, you the faculty will determine the nature of our next opportunities and achievements through the courses you teach, the questions you pursue, the collaborations you design, and the many other investments you make in our academic community.  Therefore I want to consult widely as this important work goes forward.  To that end, I ask that you communicate with me at a scheduled upcoming listening session, by email, or in a confidential meeting.

Dangers in any internal process are that colleagues might hesitate to identify promising candidates or that those candidates might hesitate to come forward on their own.  To guard against this potential loss, I ask that you talk about this process in your departments and other groups, nominate colleagues, consider coming forward yourself, and be in touch with me with suggestions, questions, and ideas at any point along the way.  This is a critical moment for the College, and I intend to do all I can to ensure that we appoint the right leader.  That is not possible without your help. 

With warm regards,

Jill Tiefenthaler