Florida A&M is hoping to appoint permanent leaders at almost half of the university’s colleges and schools.
Dean searches are currently underway for the Colleges of Education, Science and Technology, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and at the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. Interim deans are also leading the College of Law in Orlando and the School of Business and Industry.
With the dean searches, FAMU says it is looking for candidates to provide quality leadership to the university and longevity with these positions.
In May 2017, interim positions were filled in journalism, pharmacy, education and law; in February 2017 the College of the Science and Rechnology was filled with an interim dean.
To push FAMU forward, these dean searches are part of the university’s new five-year strategic plan “FAMU Rising” created to instill world-class faculty.
To conduct the searches, FAMU has contracted with Greenwood/Asher & Associates, a search firm that consults and trains in searches, strategic services, and leadership development.
Rodner Wright, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs, said that the goal of these searches is to provide long-term leadership positions for the colleges and schools.
“The goal for the dean searches is to try and provide and identify very qualified candidates that have the ability to provide permanent leadership in the schools and colleges,” Wright said.
While interims are in charge of six different colleges and schools, the active searches are designed to establish permanent leadership. Through the partnership with Greenwood, FAMU is able to collaborate and provide a variety of input on prospective candidates.
Wright also feels that through the collaborative effort from the committee creates an opportunity to discuss views and it allows students to be involved.
“One of the things that make the searches interesting is that we are actually bringing a variety of individuals to campus that have an opportunity to interface with the stakeholders. Students are as much a part of that search and can get a chance to look at a variety of candidates’ points of view and leadership style and provide input to that,” Wright said.
As part of the search, ensuring students are provided with strong leadership is essential to their success at the university, Wright added.
Courtney Fitz, first-year doctor of pharmacy candidate at FAMU, described how she is impacted by the dean searches.
“As a student at Florida A&M, leadership roles play a huge role in what goes on in the classrooms. Ensuring strong leaders and faculty to represent the schools provides me with a sense of confidence to continue to strive within my studies,” said Fitz.
Chelsey Brooks, another FAMU student, feels that conducting the dean searches will be beneficial to FAMU and students.
“I feel that by conducting dean searches to add permanent leadership roles, can be beneficial to FAMU allowing a sense of accountability to be put in place within different schools on campus,” said Brooks.
By adding stability on campus with new leadership roles, FAMU hopes to ensure improvement within and outside of the classrooms.
Also, by seeking qualified candidates through this search process FAMU will be able to meet the standards for each college and school to provide students and the university the qualities to excel, Wright noted.
With the dean searches underway, Wright said he plans to have each position filled by the beginning of the fall semester.