May 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 64°F


H&S dean search narrowed to four finalists

The search committee for the position of dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences has chosen four finalists and is aiming to announce a new dean in December.

Leslie Lewis, former dean of H&S, left the college in July to accept the position of provost and vice president of academic affairs at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. Her position is being filled by interim dean Michael Richardson as the college’s search committee works to find a permanent replacement.

The search is being chaired by Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Gayeski previously chaired the search for both the dean of the School of Business and the dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance. She said this search is moving along very efficiently, as other searches have spanned two semesters.   

The search began in August when the college hired external firm AGB Search to begin finding candidates. An initial pool of 90 applicants submitted their curriculum vitae, reference names and a letter of interest.

The search committee then narrowed the pool down to eight or nine semifinalists as announced through Intercom Nov. 6. The next step of the process was “airport interviews,” in which the college flew candidates into nearby airports for in-person interviews.

The search committee has chosen four finalists who will participate in extensive interviews on campus. This process will include open campus meetings on Dec. 1, 3, 8 and 10. The names of the candidates will be announced shortly before they arrive.

Gayeski said the course of the search has not been altered by the recent campus unrest.  

“We are looking for people who can show leadership and diversity and inclusiveness,” Gayeski said. “For anybody going into campus leadership, this is a hugely important issue for them to be able to deal with and show leadership in.”

Gayeski said the committee is looking for someone with some “interesting new initiatives and perspectives.” The document specifying the job requirements and qualities that the committee is looking for is available online.

Gayeski did not reveal the names of the candidates and declined to comment on whether any of the candidates are faculty or administrators at the college. She said overall, the search is going well.

“We’re really pleased about the way that it’s moving along,” Gayeski said. “We have a great committee and I think a lot of consensus about what we’re looking for and how we want the process to unfold. [We have a] fabulous, fabulous pool. We’re really happy.”


Annika Kushner can be reached at or via Twitter: @aekushner