This Wednesday, April 10, James S. Terhune, the first of the four final candidates for the position of dean, will be coming to Swarthmore for a Fireside Chat as the committee draws closer to picking a new dean. The Fireside Chats are open to all students, who are encouraged to come and to e-mail feedback to the selection committee with questions and comments regarding each candidate. The Fireside Chat will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Kohlberg Coffee Bar; pizza will be served.
The committee, made up of Professor Nathalie Anderson, Associate Professors Garikai Campbell and Andrew Ward, Dean of Admissions Jim Bock, Vice-President Maurice Eldridge, and led by Provost Constance Hungerford, also includes three students (Zsaleh Harivandi ’07, Jaky Joseph ’06, and Elizabeth Vogel ’07). Zsaleh Harivandi explains, “The students on the committee had a very similar role to the members of the faculty and administration. It’s been our responsibility to represent the student body as a whole as best as we can, just as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been the faculty members’ responsibility to represent the rest of the faculty. All the members of the committee have equal voices in the process.”
The committee first narrowed a large list of candidates to ten semifinalists, each of whom met with the committee for an hour and a half. The list was then narrowed to the four finalists being considered: Timothy W. Foster, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Bowdoin College; Gladstone Hutchinson, Dean of Studies and Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Lafayette College; Kathryn Stuart, Dean of Studies at Oberlin College; and Terhune, Dean of Student Affairs at Colgate University.
Provost Constance Hungerford explains that the final decision will be based on “student feedback, our own observations, and Al Bloom’s reactions.” In addition, Hungerford commented, “R.A.s and student council members will also have a meeting with candidatesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦This is a two way street, we’re evaluating them and getting a sense if the fit is right to us, and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re showing them what kind of a community we are. So far, they’ve been impressed by what they’ve seen and we’ve been impressed by them.”
Harivandi concurs. “It’s been a lot of work, but I’m excited about the finalists we have…I think we’re going to have a hard choice to make, narrowing it down to one person, but the feedback from the community will really help with this.”