The search continues for SJGC dean

School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. Photo courtesy FAMU SJGC WordPress

A task force meeting was held on Tuesday to narrow down the list of prospective candidates to preside over the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. Executive Assistant to the Dean, William Jiles, says he isn’t limiting his vote to contenders with a background in journalism.

“The school has competent people who are in journalism, graphic design, and public relations. The focus should be whether the person can run a business or organization, rather than getting bogged down by a specific degree,” said Jiles.

26 candidates were examined between 16 attendees—SJGC professors, two student ambassadors, and representatives from Greenwood/Asher and Associates—a company that specializes in placing qualified professionals into vacant leadership positions.

The Greenwood/Asher representatives kicked off the Zoom meeting with a brief reminder of the code of ethics.

“It’s important that we as a committee make these decisions in a fair and unbiased way, looking at the evidence of accomplishments and skills that match what we have listed in the description,” said a representative.

The committee anticipates a long road ahead in the search of a dynamic leader who can “enhance the excellence” of SJGC, according to committee chairwoman and dean over FAMU’s College of Education—Allyson Watson, who is responsible for facilitating the efforts in onboarding a new dean.

“We know the SJGC faculty have worked wonderfully to accomplish national accreditation and numerous accolades from students and faculty. My role is to facilitate opportunities that will lead to promoting the phenomenal reputation we know SJGC represents,” said Watson.

The committee outlined qualifiers when the quest began in Sept. A graduate degree, a minimum of three years of pertinent professional experience, proven fundraising ability, and strong interpersonal skills were all listed requirements on the application.

Though not every condition made the list. Of the prevalent concerns, board member zAnnetta Wilson, was one of the few who agreed that staying power should factor just as heavily.

“At this stage in the game we’re looking for someone who is staying. I just don’t want us to choose someone who is practicing just to move somewhere else,” said Wilson.

Members backed Wilson’s statement saying they needed someone who could demonstrate extensive administrative experience. The consensus settled with a suggestion that the board should include questions in the interview process that will expose red flags.

Following the board’s review, eight of the 26 candidates advanced in the hiring process.

For now, the application remains open. On Nov. 24, the committee will meet again and discuss any other candidates that are up for consideration.

The meeting concluded with agreeing upon 21 questions that will be divided into a two-part interview process. The first 11 questions in the first round aimed at exposing any inconsistencies & narrowing down the final contestants. The interviews are set to take place Dec. 3 and 4.