Letter to the Editor

The Graduate School of Political Management hiring process, clarified

The Hatchet’s staff editorial, “GSPM: Include input from adjunct faculty” (April 4, pg. 4), regarding the search for a Graduate School of Political Management director, neglected to explain several important points about how academic searches are conducted. I’d like to take this opportunity to educate those unfamiliar with the process about how faculty administrator searches are generally conducted, and in particular, on the role of the dean in such searches.

First, although the editorial refers to “Burke and the other members of the search committee,” I was not a member of the original committee for the GSPM executive director, nor will I be a member of the new committee. Hiring officials, such as deans, are usually not part of search committees – although we do play a role in organizing the committees.

Second, deans do not and cannot control the day-to-day work of faculty search committees. The Office of Faculty Recruitment and Personnel Relations has instituted guidelines that all searches follow, under the leadership of a search committee chair. These guidelines were followed in the initial GSPM search, and they will continue to be followed in the new search.

Third, College of Professional Studies bylaws require that faculty administrative officers of the college, including the executive director of GSPM, must be appointed by the dean after consultation with faculty and the college’s dean’s council. The search process allows for such consultation and, consequently, the search committee is charged with vetting candidates, soliciting input and offering recommendations to the dean. Once again, while the dean is the hiring official, the details of the search are executed by a search committee and, occasionally, with help from an outside search firm.

Additionally, as part of the search process, input from adjunct faculty and students is generally sought. We sought input from GSPM adjunct faculty and students through public forums in the initial search, and will continue to do so in the second search. The search committee will decide how to gather that input. I, personally, do not decide at which hour search committees meet, nor will I tell them how and when they have to arrange for public lectures. Once again, this is the work of the search committee. For the second GSPM search, I will encourage the committee, when it is fully constituted, to implement processes that will allow for meaningful input from adjunct faculty, alumni and students.

Finally, I was pleased to see in the same April 4 edition of The Hatchet, that GSPM Student Association President Angelo Dalmacio had chosen to express the GSPM students’ interest in the process. As Mr. Dalmacio knows from corresponding with me prior to his April 4 letter, GSPM students will have a representative on the second search committee. I find it curious that Mr. Dalmacio did not include this information in his letter to The Hatchet.

Student representation should go a long way toward helping our students understand the search process and also appreciate the careful and dedicated work that search committees undertake. Search committees share the goal that we all hold in common, that of successfully identifying the best candidate for the job.

The goal of the second GSPM search, and my goal as dean of CPS, is to find the best possible executive director for the GSPM. I am confident that this second search process will produce successful results.

Kathleen Burke is the dean of the College of Professional Studies.

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