No CCOM dean yet

The two remaining candidates in Butler University’s College of Communication dean search may have visited last month, but the final verdict is still uncertain.

“We are now at a point in the search that necessitates my personal involvement and further discussion with key individuals, including candidates,” President Jim Danko told the Collegian.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jamie Comstock would normally select a new dean, but since she asked to step down, Danko will make the decision.

“It doesn’t do significant damage to the process,” LAS Dean Jay Howard said of the change.

Glenda Balas visited Butler Nov. 9-10 and Gary Edgerton visited Nov. 14-15. These visits consisted of open forums that allowed students and community members to interact with the candidates, meetings with faculty and administration and additional interviews with the search committee.

Howard, chair of the search committee, said he was pleased with the results.

“I thought there was good turnout at the open forums,” Howard said. “They both seemed very impressed with Butler, both faculty and students. I think Butler’s academic reputation helped us attract very strong candidates.”

Once the campus interviews were completed, the committee submitted formal reports about each candidate to Danko. He is responsible for making negotiations with the chosen candidate.

Howard and Danko declined to comment on the committee’s recommendation.

Christine Taylor, associate professor of communications and a member of the search committee, said it can be difficult to make the right selection.

“It’s demanding of a faculty member to be unselfish and to think of what’s best for the college,” she said.

Taylor has been on several dean search committees prior to the beginning of CCOM. She said that the major responsibilities of the committee are to narrow down the field of applicants and develop evaluations of the finalists, but the final decision isn’t ultimately theirs.

Danko met with the CCOM  faculty last Friday where he discussed the college’s future.

“We had a very constructive meeting and discussion about the future of the college,” Danko said in a separate email. “I believe we all came away feeling extraordinarily positive about the future of CCOM and the importance of good leadership, in the person of the new dean, to assure the college’s success.”


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