June 11, 2001
Paul named interim dean
By Michael Terrazas firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate School Dean Bobby Paul has been appointed interim dean of Emory
College for a term of two years, President Bill Chace announced in an
e-mail to faculty in late May.
The selection of Professor Paul as interim dean comes as a result
of discussions with, among others, the Executive Committee of the college,
the Executive Committee of the graduate school, the council of department
and program chairs of the college, the Emory College faculty meeting as
a body, and various meetings with individual faculty members, Chace
wrote in the e-mail, which also was signed by Provost Rebecca Chopp and
soon-to-be Interim Provost Woody Hunter.
Having begun his duties as interim dean on June 1, Paul is on leave from
his post as dean of the graduate school. Gary Wihl, associate dean and
professor of English, has been named acting graduate school dean during
the two years Paul will be on leave.
As significant as these appointments are, no less significant is
the responsibility we faculty and members of the administration have to
engage in serious and sustained strategic planning about the administrative
structures best suited to support the teaching and research talents of
the faculty, Chaces e-mail stated. Both Professors Paul
and Wihl will be centrally involved in this activity, as will members
of the faculty. At the current time we are discussing with the college
Executive Committee and with the graduate Executive Committee how best
to select the members of a strategic planning task force.
Chaces announcement also listed several criteria by which Paul
was judged to be the best candidate for interim college dean following
the departure of Steve Sanderson, who left to become president of the
Wildlife Conservation Society on June 1. Among the criteria was [the
ability to] be open to all views on the question of reorganization.
Other qualifications included a strong professional stature based on scholarly
publication and grant acquisition, experience in dealing with large budgets,
a blend of interpersonal skills and tough-mindedness, familiarity
with all college disciplines, and enthusiasm and commitment toward faculty
Chaces e-mail said discussions with the aforementioned bodies resulted
in a list of three candidates for interim dean, among whom Paul was ultimately
We ... came to the collective decision that Professor Paul possesses
the best combination of intelligence, experience, patience and historical
understanding, the e-mail stated. But this was by no means,
as we quickly came to understand, an easy decision. Both of the other
short-listed candidates also would have brought strengths of mind and
character that would have significantly enhanced the professional lives
of the faculty. Indeed, the search process has forcefully reminded us
of the depth of talent and experience resident within the faculty.
We now face the beginning of an important chapter in Emorys history. We must collectively work to consider the organization of the college and the graduate school that will bring forward the best assets of the faculty. We must invigorate the talent for governance and self-governance within the faculty. We must evaluate the achievements within the faculty and seek the means to increase those achievements in the coming year. This, and much else, is now for us to do.