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Year in Review: Dean search ends with Guskiewicz

Guskiewicz is the senior associate dean for natural sciences and an exercise and sport science professor but will step down and assume his new position on Jan. 1, 2016.

Current dean Karen Gil announced her resignation in November 2014 after six years in the position.

A search committee was created to find Gil’s replacement.

“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.”

Gil, former chairperson of the Department of Psychology, said she would return to teaching at the University.

A month until Gil’s planned resignation in May 2015, fewer than 100 people had applied to fill her position.

The search remained incomplete before classes started in August, and Gil agreed to stay on as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences until January 2016.

Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss led the search for the new dean as chairperson of the search committee.

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

In September, the University announced five finalists for the position, along with open forums for each candidate.

“The process has been set up for a lot of student input and student feedback,” Student Body President Houston Summers said at the open forum of William Easterling, dean of Penn State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

After announcing Guskiewicz as the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 29, the University officially introduced him at a ceremony the next day.

Guskiewicz is co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center.

“I’ve asked people to think in a bold way, and I want us to not be afraid to put ideas out there,” Guskiewicz said.

“Just because we haven’t done something one way doesn’t mean that we can’t try it now,” he said. “I want us to be looking forward rather than backward about how we’ve done things. Let’s think about how we might do them.”

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