Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Saturday, April 13, 2024

And then there were two.

Paul D'Anieri and Barbara Romzek, both associate deans at the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, are the last ones standing in the search to find a new leader for UF's college of the same name.

This is not entirely promising news.

As one of the most diverse colleges on campuses, it is disappointing to see two candidates with such similar backgrounds as the last remaining choices.

So, essentially, a national search for someone to take the helm at one of the largest colleges at one of the largest universities ended up with two candidates who have at least one identical qualification.

Maybe it's not for a lack of trying, but things are just not looking up.

When Peter Coclanis, the associate provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, dropped out Tuesday citing UF's recent administrative restructuring and continuing budget crisis - a projected $50 million shortfall next year - we didn't blame him.

A shake-up in the very way a university is governed will have even long-standing faculty and administrators questioning the university's direction.

And that brings us to the very height of the latest dean search problem - Provost Janie Fouke's resignation.

It's fair to assume that amid her announcement the dean search has now taken on a decidedly different atmosphere.

After UF President Bernie Machen announced that budget operations once overseen by the Office of the Provost and the University Controller's Office will be moved to UF's new chief financial officer, the search committee may now be looking for an entirely different kind of dean.

It has to be said that these recent changes are not small changes to the university administrative culture.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Given that the provost's office will now focus primarily on academic leadership responsibilities instead of budget operations as in the past, it will take everyone some getting used to.

Since it's also unclear when an interim provost will be named to replace Fouke, how can the committee expect to hire anyone without being able to definitively tell the person with whom he or she will be working?

That's like hiring an assistant manager without a manager - it just doesn't make sense.

With these recent developments, we realize the best option for the search committee might not really be the easiest: It's time to postpone the search until we know who will take lame-duck Provost Fouke's place.

Once that's out of the way, the only option would be to expand the search once again, this time attempting to attract more diverse candidates who are up for a different type of challenge.

While we realize that no one person can come in and miraculously fix all the college's problems, it is better to take the time to find the right person for the job.

To go on searching when so much has changed since the start of the committee's hunt would be a waste of the committee's time and energy.

It doesn't seem fair to anyone involved.

Bringing someone new on board when such a leadership change is taking place in higher positions would be like setting him or her up to fail, or at the very least make for a less-than-smooth transition.

And the last thing CLAS needs is another set of failures.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.