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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Editor's Note: Interviews in the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean search will take place Feb. 15, 16 and 17. We reported otherwise in Wednesday's Alligator.

The search committee responsible for choosing candidates for the dean of the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will meet today to narrow down the selection pool.

Pramod Khargonekar, chairman of the committee, said there are about 40 candidates. After today, Khargonekar said he expects the candidates will be narrowed down to about 10 semifinalists.

The committee will interview the semifinalists on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, he said, and it will present the remaining candidates to Provost Janie Fouke next week.

The semifinalists will then undergo interviews with faculty, staff members and students. Although unsure of when the final decision will be made, Khargonekar said he expects a choice will be made by late March.

He said each candidate is being considered based on his or her academic record, leadership skills and general experience.

"We're looking for someone who has a vision of liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century," he said.

Fouke said the new dean should focus on getting to know the college and its strengths and weaknesses once he or she is chosen.

A major hurdle the new dean will face is a $1 million dollar budget deficit, which has been trimmed from $6 million in summer 2006.

Joe Glover, CLAS interim dean, said by the end of the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the debt had been reduced to about $4.5 million before being reduced further.

Glover said he expects the college to be completely out of debt and back on track for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Glover, who is also a candidate for the permanent dean position, said the college pulled itself out of debt by paying close attention to how funds were allocated and through faculty and staff departures.

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When staff and faculty members left the college, only critical positions were refilled, he said.

Once the colelge finishes paying off its deficit, Glover said the next step would be figuring out other means of improving the college.

After working in CLAS for 25 years, he said he had a good idea of how the college operates.

"I think it's a job for which I'm reasonably well-suited," he said.

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