Ithaca College is in the process of finding a new Health Sciences and Human Performances dean. Two candidates have already given presentations, one more presents today and the final candidate will speak Monday.
John Sigg has been acting dean of HSHP since the beginning of the academic year and will remain in the position until May. The search for a new dean officially began in October.
Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and head of the search committee, said the candidates must have a doctorate or equivalent in one of the fields of HSHP and have experience in academic administration.
Besides the on-paper credentials, Gayeski said, the new dean should have experience leading initiatives such as updating existing degrees and adding new ones.
“Especially given the IC 20/20 initiative, one of the desirable characteristics is candidates who have experience in creating or innovating general education or various kinds of integrated curricula,” she said.
The first candidate, Ming Li, director of the School of Recreation and Sports Science at Ohio University and a professor of sports administration, visited the college last Thursday. Li said if he was hired, he would focus on maintaining the school’s national prominence while building on the college’s mission as described in the IC 20/20 strategic vision to strive for academic excellence. Li also emphasized a close listening relationship with faculty.
“First year, the most important thing that I will do is listen to you — the faculty, the staff and the students,” Li said.
Li also said he would like to diversify the HSHP school by hiring international faculty members and creating academic partnerships with universities in China.
The second visiting candidate was James Graves ’77, currently a professor of exercise and sport science and dean of the College of Health at the University of Utah. Graves said he does not plan on changing areas of the school that are already successful and focused on his experience at the University of Utah, which places a heavy focus on research and faculty work all over campus on different research projects. Graves said he plans to bring this communication between disciplines to the college to help foster better teaching models.
“We’re all in this together,” Graves said. “Everyone involved with the college needs to come together.”
Graves also focused on how to prepare students for the changing field of health care, emphasizing interdisciplinary education, cultural competency, mutual respect and clinical team experience.
The rhetoric surrounding the dean search is consistent with recent hires at the college that are in line with the IC 20/20 strategic plan.
Both Li and Graves mentioned plans to incorporate IC 20/20 if they were hired. Li said he would bolster student-alumni mentoring, integrative learning and increasing international connections, which are all components of IC 20/20. Graves said he would determine feasible goals as they relate to IC 20/20 and begin a dialogue with faculty as to what the initiative means to them.
Gayeski said the selection will take months and ultimately Provost Marisa Kelly will choose the best candidate. She said the new dean would most likely start in the summer to give them time to adjust to the campus and notify the institution they presently work at.
William Stewart, associate dean of academic affairs at the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Linda Petrosino, professor and dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Bowling Green State University, will present today and Monday, respectively.
Both presentations are at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Klingenstein Lounge and are open to the campus community.