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VSU changes interview process for new deans

Last December, there was news that VSU’s College of Science and Art would be splitting up into two separate entities, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Mathematics.

Dr. James LaPlant, the dean of the college of science and art, transitioned into the role of College of Humanities and Social Sciences during the split, and the preparation and search for a new dean of the college of science and mathematics began, Dr. LaPlant taking on the role of interim dean until the search bore fruit.

The search began in earnest last August with the job ad and description going up online. Applicants all over the country applied for the new position. The search committee evaluated all of the applicants during September with skype interviews held online, and it was in October that a select few applicants came to campus.

However, this year we saw something else as well.

This past October, there was an announcement over VSU email that a new BlazeView course had been opened up to the perusal of staff and students alike. Titled Dean Candidate Presentation CO, the course housed the dean candidate presentation videos of the applicants that had come far enough into the process.

Dr. LaPlant said this is about making the candidate presentations as public as possible.

“For a position like this, a lot of people, staff and students both, are in class,” Dr. LaPlant said, “When they give their campus interview, to allow as many people as possible to see the candidate’s campus presentations, our friends in IT have helped in recording that so that any student, staff, faculty member can go that course and give back their feedback.”

While this isn’t a step in the process that we see in all of the hires of VSU, Dr. LaPlant offered that it was more common amongst administrative hires. He also pointed to the large amount of interested parties at college of science and math, several thousand students and over 80 faculty.

“It’s something we’ve been doing for a while and I think it has worked well,” Dr. LaPlant said.

When asked about when we might see a new dean of the college of science and math take a seat, Dr. LaPlant replied that, “It is the provost and the presidents call, but I am hopeful we will have some hired by the end of this month. We have listed January as a preferred start date, but the ultimate hire may not be able to work until this summer.”

Written by Payton Fletcher, Staff Writer.

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