Two deans announce plans to step down

Two of GW’s longest-serving deans will step down from their positions after this academic year, a University administrator announced Friday afternoon.

Mary Futrell, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and Susan Phillips, dean of the School of Business, will step down from their positions on June 30, 2010, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Lehman announced in an e-mail to faculty Friday afternoon.

Lehman expects that the two deans’ replacements will be chosen by the time they step down, and said appointing an interim dean should not be necessary, as the University typically receives 80 to 100 applications for an open dean position.

GW will begin a national search this fall to fill both positions, he said.

In both cases, the search committees will be composed of faculty members of each of the departments within the school, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, a member of the school’s National Advisory Council – which is composed of alumni well-established in their fields – and an administrative representative appointed by Lehman.

In addition, an undergraduate student and a graduate student will be appointed in the School of Business search, and a graduate student representative will be appointed to the GSEHD search committee.

The committees will develop the criteria for the selection of the next dean. Some of the qualities the University will look for in candidates include national recognition in their field of endeavor, demonstrated commitment to fundraise, and a demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary research and scholarship, Lehman said in an e-mail.

In Friday’s statement to faculty and staff, Lehman said Futrell has served as the dean of GSEHD for 14 years and has “increased the national recognition of the GSEHD programs and for more than ten years kept the school consistently in the top 35 graduate schools for education.”

Futrell plans to take a sabbatical in the fall of 2010 and return to the GSEHD faculty in January of 2011, according to the statement.

“It’s time for a fresh person to come in and move the school forward. It’s time to move on. I love teaching. I loved the one class I taught and teaching and working with students,” Futrell said.

Of her sabbatical leave, Futrell said, “I plan to prepare myself to teach, participate in professional activities, catch up on work, and relax.”

Lehman added that Phillips will serve as a faculty member in the School of Business as a professor of finance until she retires from the University in June of 2011.

Phillips has served as dean of the School of Business for 11 years, and Lehman said she has “brought fiscal discipline and financial strength to the School of Business, as well as made significant progress in encouraging and fostering research at the school through internal investment in the faculty.”

Phillips could not be reached for a comment over the weekend.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.