The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, March 1, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Slow search sees dean of College of Arts and Sciences agree to stay to 2016

Karen Gill

Karen Gill

Gil will stay on as dean until January, which will give a search committee time to consider a wide range of candidates, said Ron Strauss, the chairman of the committee.

“It’s been a process of being open to input and not trying to be in any haste,” Strauss said.

Gil was not available for comment on the search.

Strauss said the committee broke up over the summer and will meet Thursday to finalize a short list of candidates who will visit the campus in September.

According to the Wainstein report on academic improprieties at the University, Gil, who has served as dean since 2009, wasn’t aware of the fraudulent paper classes within the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies before a meeting with former department chairman Julius Nyang’oro and Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs, in 2011.

Upon learning of the irregularities, Gil conducted a review of the department and called for Nyang’oro’s resignation, the report said.

Strauss said candidates are aware of the academic-athletic scandal, but it hasn’t been a main issue of the search.

“Though they are aware of the challenges we’ve faced, they seem to be drawn to our strengths and to creating a situation in which they can position us for the future, and that’s of course what we want,” he said.

The committee is working with the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

Strauss said the University is paying the firm one-third of the new dean’s first year total compensations, including projected bonuses, at a minimum of $60,000 plus expenses, including travel.

Contracts with the firm obtained through a public record request, however, state the retainer with the search firm is $95,000 with an additional multipurpose expense account of up to $7,500.

Jett Pihakis, head of the search for Russell Reynolds, said the firm’s key role is to go out and recruit candidates, as well as help with logistics, reference checks and verifying candidates’ backgrounds.

“Occasionally you do get a very strong candidate applying from an advertisement, but the strength of the pool is much, much greater when you have someone actively recruiting for the role,” Pihakis said.

Current Student Body President Houston Summers, also a member of the search committee, said he thinks affordability is a priority for undergraduate students and hopes this will be on the mind of Gil’s eventual replacement.

“When our university becomes unaffordable, it becomes a very homogenous place,” Summers said.

Strauss, echoing other members of the committee, is optimistic about the search.

“I have great confidence that the process — the way it’s been constructed — will find us an outstanding dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and that we will have choices, and that’s a great thing,” Strauss said.


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.