Outreach dean search underway

Adriane Hardin

Audrey Anderson, interim dean of the new Division of Extended Learning and Outreach, is about to make her exit from the Hill.

That has Western officials scrambling to secure a replacement by mid-semester.

Three candidates for the dean position are visiting campus through Monday to participate in open forums.

“This is pretty important timing,” Provost Barbara Burch said.

The division was created last year to enhance the university’s outreach mission, Anderson said.

“They can do more together than they can separately,” she said.

The division includes Western’s summer sessions, continuing education units and correspondence study programs.

It also includes the Carroll Knicely Institute for Economic Development, extended campuses, the center for training and development and the small business development center.

Three candidates were selected and came to campus to participate in open forums throughout the week.

“We have invited people from across campus and people out in the community who will benefit from the programs of this division, and invited them to give us feedback,” Burch said. “We’re very optimistic.”

The candidates include Dale Bower, a dean at William Paterson State University in Wayne, N.J.

Bower participated in an open forum on Monday.

Marcia Bankirer, vice provost and dean at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., will take part in an open forum today from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the fine arts center recital hall.

Donald Swoboda will be on campus Tuesday from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the recital hall. Swoboda is a professor and former dean at the University of Nebraska.

“We’re certainly hoping that we will be successful in filling the search,” Burch said.

Money generated by the division itself will be used to fund the new position.

“This is a revenue generating unit,” Burch said. “This is not something that costs us state money. That’s how these units work.”

The Division of Extended Learning and Outreach was approved by the Board of Regents in January 2003. It is made up of nine individual units that once flew solo but are now flocked together.

Anderson said the position is a great opportunity for the candidates.

“They would be what we would call the founding dean of a new unit, and that is always very exciting in and of itself,” Anderson said.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]