Education search concludes

The College of Education may have a new dean as early as Christmas according to search committee chairwoman Ada Burnette.

Burnette, who is also faculty senate president, explained there is no deadline for persons to apply for the post. However, the committee expects to present President Gainous with a recommendation for approval just before the Christmas break. She and her 13-member committee have already received a number of recommendations.

“Names have been referred to us and we will begin reviewing materials (resumes, etc…) as soon as they come in,” said Burnette. “(But) the difference between our search and the search for the president is that he makes the final decision and not the board of trustees.”

Persons wanting to apply for the position must have a doctorate degree in any one of the disciplines in the university with a record of service and teaching at both the public school and university levels. Applicants must also have past experience in administration.

Topping the new dean’s task list are getting the college accredited with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and enhancing the overall performance of FAMU DRS.

“We believe that it is in the university’s best interest that the college is NCATE accredited,” said President Gainous.

“We want to provide students with the level of responsibility and programs that would ensure future employers that the students have been accredited and have reached a higher level of professionalism. We also need a person who is committed to FAMU DRS and enhancing the school’s quality and programs and be able to raise money for the DRS,” Gainous said.

Interim Dean Janet Guyden said she will enter her name for possible appointment to the position but hopes that whoever gets the post will be committed to the challenge.

“Anyone coming in (as dean) has to have an understanding of the role of the college in the university paradigm and with that have a real personal commitment to having the college be the best it can be,” Guyden said. “There is a lot of work involved and it will take a true commitment.”

Guyden was appointed after former dean Melvin Gadson was charged and arrested on counts of grand theft, forgery and official misconduct. He was sentenced to two months and five days jail time along with $50,145 in restitutions according to the state attorney’s office.During Gadson’s 13-year tenure as dean, the College of Education was ranked No.1 in the nation for producing African Americans with degrees in education.

“I think it is important to retain the prestige that we have already in place but there needs to be processes put into place to support the ongoing work of the faculty and college,” Guyden said. “Processes and procedures that are well articulated.”

“We need to work to get the resources the faculty needs to provide outstanding and rigorous programs. We have a strong and focused faculty,” said Guyden.

“Integrity and faculty are what we need to be cutting edge and not just ordinary but extraordinary. This university is in a prime position to make a difference and I want to be a part of that.”

Gainous agreed saying the new dean should also be an effective researcher and a motivation to his or her colleagues.

“The new dean should be able to attract grants and support the overall mission of the university established by the board of trustees. They should inspire their faculty to be energized in and outside the classroom.”

Guyden came to the university from Georgia State University in 1997, where she served as coordinator of the Ph.D. program in higher education. She served as faculty in the college’s department of leadership and human services prior to her appointment as interim dean.