Town halls discuss hunt for new Dean of Sciences and Dean of Computing

Photo courtesy of Institute Communications

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Office of the Provost hosted two town halls to discuss the ongoing search for deans for the College of Computing and the College of Sciences.

These efforts follow the recent departure of Paul Goldbart, former dean of the College of Sciences, and the announcement this past summer that Zvi Galil, current dean of the College of Computing, would be stepping down from his post in June 2019.

In the wake of Goldbart’s departure, David Collard has assumed the role of interim dean of the College of Science, and will remain in the position until a new dean is found.

Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, detailed the timeline for these searches. The process began in Aug. 2018 with the creation of two separate search committees. Up until November, a pool of candidates will be steadily developed and vetted for recruitment, out of which a group of finalists will be selected to visit campus in March 2019. A final decision and announcement regarding the naming of the new deans will be made in May 2019.

The College of Computing and College of Sciences search committees are chaired by Raheem Beyah and Pinar Keskinocak, respectively. Jennifer Herazy, associate provost for Operations, serves on both committees as the search director.

“We wanted to make sure there was representation across all of the schools,” Beyah said. “We wanted to make sure that staff were represented, and that students were represented.”

This process of switching deans has allowed both colleges to reflect on which initiatives should be prioritized under new leadership in upcoming years.

Bras shared several initiatives that both colleges may hope to pursue, including constructing new libraries and working with the Commission on Creating the Next in Education, a group begun in 2015 that focuses on exploring alternative education models.

As noted by Bras, these dean searches will be conducted internally and will not involve an outside search firm.

“To succeed, the committees are going to have to work very hard. These committees are not going to be passive groups reacting to information given to them,” Bras said. “They will have to be proactive in seeking out and convincing candidates that we want them.”

Those who may know individuals interested in these positions are encouraged to forward nominations of possible candidates to committee members.

Names of any candidates will not be released until finalists are announced next March.

“Many of the people we are pursuing are very good at what they [do],” said Herazy. “We would like to make sure that throughout this process, everything remains confidential about their interest in the position, about their candidacy in the position, and [about] why they chose to apply.”

In addition to the College of Computing and College of Sciences, administration has also organized search committees to identify candidates for  several administrative roles vacated due to ethics scandals that surfaced in the summer.

Among these openings are  the executive vice president for Administration and Finance and  the vice president of Institute Communications, as well as the senior vice president and director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.