Jan 262009
Authors: Madeline Novey

After former College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Marc Johnson left CSU in June to pursue a position at another university, CSU announced the search committee responsible for hiring his replacement last week, narrowing its nation-wide search to four candidates.

A search committee leader said the committee’s final report — the committee’s evaluation of each four candidates —-/will be completed and delivered to Interim CSU President Tony Frank and Interim Provost Rick Miranda in the last week of February and will await their final hiring decision.

“I think we’ve got four excellent candidates; they all understand land-grant universities and our college’s mission,” said Lee Sommers, associate dean for research in the College of Agricultural Sciences, who has been serving as interim dean in Johnson’s stead.

Sommers, who charged the future dean with providing leadership and a “vision” for the college, said the individual must be prepared to meet the challenge of potential university-wide department budget cuts connected to the recession.

“The biggest challenge is the one that all the colleges at CSU is going to face and that relates to the uncertainty with our budget,” Sommers said. “That’s probably going to be the first challenge.”

The dean is responsible for overseeing the College’s programs and annual budget allocations totaling $24.8 million, which is allocated to resident instruction, the Agricultural Experiment Station Research programs and faculty research.

As set by the hiring requirements, each candidate must “demonstrate commitment to furthering the mission of a land-grant university,” and must continue and develop the college’s educational resources.

“The person must be an exceptional leader who is able to integrate the needs of the Agricultural industries in Colorado with the academic missions of the college,” said Lance Perryman, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and chairman of the search committee.”

“The person must be an effective communicator and have extensive budget experience.”

As part of the hiring process, each candidate is scheduled to meet with Agricultural Sciences faculty and students to answer questions and give the CSU community a chance to participate in the hiring process.

“Whenever we conduct a search for leadership positions at CSU, it’s vital that there be full input from faculty staff and students,” Perryman said. “This provides the best assessment of the candidates and leads to the best possible outcome.”

Sonny Ramaswamy, current director of Agricultural Research Programs and the associate dean of Agriculture at Purdue University, was the first of the four candidates to participate in the open-forum session Monday morning at the Lory Student Center.

Sommers, who did not attend the forum because of prior commitments, said there was “very good turnout” and participation from both faculty and staff from the college.

Open-forum sessions are scheduled to conclude with Craig Beyrouty when he speaks on Wednesday, Feb. 11 in the LSC Cherokee Park Room. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend.

Frank and Miranda will make the final hiring decision and the new dean will assume duties on or around July 1.

Assistant News Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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