Search for health dean ends in failure

Provost Gordon Emslie

Herald staff

The hunt for a new dean for the College of Health and Human Services ended this week in a failed search.  

In an email sent to faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs Gordon Emslie said that, after examining the search committee’s report and consulting with the Office of Human Resources, it was “concluded that there is not a sufficient level of support for any finalists to ensure their success in this position.”

The email marks the end of a four-month search for a new dean that began in November. The applicant pool was narrowed down to three in late January, with two of the final contenders being internal candidates. Each candidate was on campus for interviews between Feb. 10 through 18.

The three candidates were Sylvia Gaiko, associate vice president for Planning & Program Development in the Office of Academic Affairs at WKU; Dean May, department head of social work and interim regional chancellor of the WKU Elizabethtown and Fort Knox campuses; and Carmen Burkhalter, senior associate dean and senior information officer in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama.

The selected candidate was set to begin their term July 1.

Current dean John Bonaguro will continue in the position until a new dean is found. Bonaguro, the founding dean of CHHS, was set to return to a faculty position in an attempt to ease into retirement after serving as dean for 10 years. 

While no date has been set for when the search will be re-opened, Emslie said in the email that the search will continue in “due course.”