As the search for Swarthmore’s new Dean of the Sophomore Class approaches completion, there are now four finalists who faculty, staff and students have met with and submitted written feedback to the college’s search committee. The four candidates have been introduced by Dean of Students Liz Braun, who is also the head of the search committee, in campus-wide emails and all of them have visited campus in the past two weeks. The names of the candidates will not be published publicly until the final candidate is announced.
In the role of Dean of the Sophomore Class, the selected candidate will be part of the emergency on-call system, assist in the implementation of the student disciplinary system and share Dean’s Office responsibilities for all students including academic and personal advising.
In addition, the Dean will work with Dean Braun and other colleagues to plan and implement efforts in support of both academic and overall success at the college, specifically for the sophomore class and broadly for all students.Additionally, the Dean of the Sophomore Class will serve a dual position as head of the Intercultural Center. As such, he or she will have administrative and budgetary responsibility for the Center, and will provide advising, advocacy and support for students and a broad range of student groups.
The search committee has an extensive set of qualifications required of applicants for the position. Candidates for this position must have a bachelor’s degree and preferably an advanced degree in an academic discipline. In addition, candidates should have several years experience as a dean, with experience in academic advising and personal development, preferably in a liberal arts college setting, as well as an informed knowledge — through academic study as well as cultural identity — of the varying groups affiliated with the Intercultural Center. The candidates all hold extensive qualifications in the fields of leadership training and education.
“We seek a candidate with excellent communication, mediation and consultative skills as well as a person with vision, who understands and appreciates the intellectual, social and political development of undergraduate students,” Dean Braun said in an email interview. “He or she must be willing to live in Swarthmore or a contiguous community, and be available for evening and weekend responsibilities and activities.”
Students have had ample opportunity to voice their opinion on the candidates. “There has been an open student discussion each evening on the visit of the IC candidate, there’s been a community meeting open to all campus members in the afternoon, and members of IC groups have the opportunity to have lunch with the candidates as well,” Admissions Counselor Simon Zhu ’11, a member of the search committee, said. “We hand out small sheets of paper for students and community members to provide feedback at the meetings, but we have also been encouraging email feedback.”
Dean Braun sent out a final call for email feedback yesterday, the day after which all candidates had visited the Swarthmore campus. The committee will be meeting next week to discuss all four candidates and review the feedback from the community, and hope to have the search to be settled by mid-late May.
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