Emory Report
April 18, 2005
Volume 58, Number 27


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April 18, 2005
Search for new Graduate School dean in full swing

BY Michael Terrazas

A search is under way for a permanent dean of the Graduate School (GS), who will manage the school as it assumes a stronger, more central role in University academic affairs.

“I favor a strong and independent role for the graduate school and its dean,” said Provost Earl Lewis. “Of course, success hinges on the GS working in partnership with each school and college dean to chart both global and specific goals and expectations for ensuring the quality of programs.”

Historically, the GS has been in a somewhat awkward position. One important measure of any top-tier research university is the strength of its graduate programs, but the GS has neither permanent teaching or research space nor a dedicated faculty; it draws its professors from all of Emory’s other schools (except Oxford). Recently a committee created by former Provost Woody Hunter and composed mostly of deans studied how best to move the GS forward. The committee recommended that GS activities be further decentralized.

But a majority of GS faculty, through a series of open presentations, expressed the opposite position, that the school should in fact be strengthened. In a letter recently distributed to professors, Lewis made his views clear on what a future GS would look like.

“First, it has a separate and distinct budget,” Lewis said. “Second, in addition to the dean and a senior associate dean, the graduate school has academic associate deans who work closely with either specific schools and colleges or with academic clusters—i.e., the humanities, social sciences and biological and physical sciences. Third, the graduate school assumes some responsibility, in partnership with each school with graduate programs, for periodic unit reviews.”

The GS, Lewis continued, should oversee creation of new doctoral programs and spearhead programs that foster interdisciplinary training and interaction, and also should work with schools to develop multiyear funding models.

“A few schools have clearly opted to eschew centralization altogether,” Lewis acknowledged. “A number of others have combined the role of the vice president for research with the graduate school deanship. Based on experience and local history, Emory clearly benefits from having a separate graduate school. Of course, structure is only part of the mix; we must strive to create a culture that supports and values graduate education.”

A search committee will vet candidates for the GS deanship. Committee membership includes:

• Peggy Barlett
, professor of anthropology.

• Tavishi Bhasin, graduate student.

• Ray Dingledine, professor of pharmacology.

• Steve Enniss, director of special collections.

• Wendy Farley, associate professor of religion.

• Eleanor Main, professor of educational studies.

• Kathy Parker, Edith Honeycutt Professor of Adult & Elder Health.

• June Scott, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Microbiology.

• Susan Socolow, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History.

• Frank Stout, vice president for research.

• Gregory Waymire, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Accounting.

The committee also includes Don Giddens, dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech, and will be assisted by the firm of Auerbach & Associates. Senior Vice Provost Harriet King said the committee hopes to identify initial candidates before Commencement.

Today, April 18, at 4 p.m. in the Carlos Museum reception hall, GS interim Dean Bryan Noe will hold an open meeting to discuss the school’s future.