Search committee chairman and Executive Vice Provost Ronald Strauss said the University has just begun to advertise the position, but has been collecting names of potential candidates from faculty members.
“It depends what you’d call a lot of applicants — we’ve got a lot of names,” Strauss said.
The committee will hold preliminary interviews of applicants in mid-June. The first round of screenings will be completed by mid-July, after which Strauss hopes to narrow the search to five finalists.
The search committee’s 15 members come from within the University, including department chairs, administrators and two students.
UNC hired national search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help identify candidates.
“I trust them, but I don’t believe that you should hand the search over to an outside entity,” Strauss said. “I do think the campus needs a direct, frequent interface with the search firm.”
Strauss said he holds forums with College of Arts and Sciences department chairs and encourages search committee members to hear what faculty members are looking for in the new dean.
“It’s important that they want to talk about it even before names are really brought up — that our faculty and our administrators are involved in this process are engaged,” he said.
Strauss said common concerns include faculty recruitment and retention.
“We need somebody here who believes strongly in the complete mission of a college of arts and sciences and understands that there is no reason why Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences should not be the preeminent college of arts and sciences,” said Chris Clemens, chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Gil will step down from her position in May after serving six years as dean to resume teaching in the Department of Psychology.
“I always thought I would serve five years, so serving this extra year has been fun,” Gil said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with our new chancellor and our new provost, and I’m just eager to return to my research and teaching.”
Strauss said finalists will be brought to campus in September, where they will be able to interact fully with students and faculty.
Jim Dean, executive vice chancellor and provost, will decide if Gil will serve as interim dean early in the 2015-16 school year until the new administrator is installed.
“I’m certainly committed to ensuring a smooth transition and helping in any way I can,” Gil said.
Strauss did not reveal potential candidates or how many names have been brought up in the search.
“The people who are candidates have good jobs and we wouldn’t want to damage their current positions by declaring their candidacies until they become finalists,” he said.