Three finalists for Grad School dean position announced

The finalists are all from the University and will speak at public forums this week.

Three University of Minnesota professors were announced Monday as the finalists for the position of vice provost and dean of graduate education. The three candidates are Gary Balas, head of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics; Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, director of the History of Science and Technology program; and Henning Schroeder , College of Pharmacy associate dean for research and graduate studies. Each finalist will have an individual forum session in which they will address their personal visions for graduate education and the Graduate School. The forums are open to the public, and there will be a question and answer session following each candidate’s opening statement. The forums will be held Sept. 22, 23 and 28 on campus. Comment and evaluation forms are available online to review the candidates following the public interviews. Professor Gary Balas is the head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. Balas began his career at the University in 1990 and has since served as the director of graduate studies for both the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and the Control Science and Dynamical Systems Center . He has also worked as a professor in both departments. Balas is a member and former chair of the University Senate Faculty Consultative Committee . Professor Sally Gregory Kohlstedt is the director of the History of Science and Technology program. Kohlstedt began her tenure at the University in 1989 and has formerly served as associate dean of the Institute of Technology, interim chair of the Department of Anthropology and as director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University. Professor Henning Schroeder is the associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Pharmacy at the University. Schroeder previously served as professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the Martin Luther University School of Pharmacy and has taught at the Stanford University School of Medicine . Schroeder came to the University in 2007. While this will only be Schroeder’s third year at the University, he said he has come to love the school and is very excited and honored to be a finalist for the position. Schroeder said his vision for graduate education at the University focuses on the idea of being an internationally competitive institution and having globally competitive graduate programs. The other two finalists could not be reached for comment. The search committee for the position is comprised of ten individuals, including several faculty members, a graduate student and University deans selected by Provost Tom Sullivan, said Marilyn Speedie , professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy and chair of the search committee. Speedie said she was very pleased with the selection process and with the enthusiasm of the 14 candidates who applied, all of whom were internal applicants from the University. Following the public forums this week, the candidates will have private interviews with University administrators, including Sullivan and University President Bob Bruininks. Speedie said the committee is scheduled to meet again on Oct. 7 to further discuss the hiring, and they hope to have a hire by the end of October so the new dean may officially start by the first of the year. The position of vice provost and dean of graduate education became open when former Dean Gail Dubrow resigned from the position last spring following the administration’s decision to restructure the Graduate School. Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy was appointed as Dubrow’s interim replacement and has maintained the position since July 1. In June, Bruininks announced that the Graduate School would incorporate several recommendations by the Committee on Graduate Education in order to streamline the school while still retaining identity as a distinct academic unit. The revised plan came nearly five months after the announcement of the initial restructuring plan, which sought to disband and reorganize the school into the Office of Graduate Education.