CLA picks three finalists

Three candidates in the search for the College of Liberal Arts dean from around the country were chosen Aug. 29 as finalists for the position. Judith A. Howard, James A. Parente Jr. and Daniel Herwitz all made the short list, which was announced by University Provost Tom Sullivan . Herwitz has been director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan for seven years. He said he and his peers were instrumental in remaking the humanities department at Michigan, and hopes to have a similar impact here. âÄúIâÄôm very attracted to the fact that the college is going through a moment of growth and change,âÄù Herwitz said. Howard, the divisional dean for the social sciences at the University of WashingtonâÄôs College of Arts & Sciences , said sheâÄôs been involved in diversity efforts at Washington, and feels CLA shares those ambitions. âÄúThatâÄôs certainly something thatâÄôs very attractive about Minnesota,âÄù Howard said. âÄúThereâÄôs a real deep commitment to continuing it in the 21st century.âÄù Parente was CLAâÄôs senior associate dean before taking over as the interim dean in September 2007 following former dean Steven Rosenstone âÄòs promotion to Vice President of Scholarly and Cultural Affairs. Parente said there is some sensitivity to his position as an insider at the University while being a final candidate. Regardless, search committee chairman Fred Morrison said no one received preferential treatment during the search. âÄú[Parente] went through the same process as everyone else,âÄù Morrison said. Parente said he is looking forward to moving ahead in the process and presenting the ideas he has to bring to the college. The finalists will visit the college this month, when they will each be interviewed by the search committee for two days, and will also present a seminar. HowardâÄôs presentation is scheduled for Sept. 8, ParenteâÄôs for Sept. 10 and HerwitzâÄôs on Sept. 22. The presentations will take place in Coffman Theater and are open to the public. Videos of the presentations will be available online. The public forums will allow the entire University community to provide feedback that will play a role in determining who becomes the new dean. Katherine Himes , assistant to the provost and search committee member, said the committee will sift through comments from the University community, and will make recommendations based on the comments. âÄúItâÄôs very important that members of CLA, but also all people of the University, participate in the interview process,âÄù Himes said. âÄúWe consider this feedback as a really important criterion in the decision-making.âÄù Although there is no set date for when a new dean will be chosen, Himes said to expect a decision by the end of October.