Dissecting the Dean search

Madison Feltman, News Editor

With a new year comes new changes, UND has seen quite a few changes around here within the last few months particularly within several departmental positions amongst a range of departments.

The first major change was marked by the announcement that Kathryn Rand, dean of the UND School of Law, would be stepping down from her position as dean to return to teaching full time. Rand was the first permanent female dean in the school’s history, she joined the faculty on an interim basis in 2009 and was appointed permanently in 2011. Rand expressed that a turnover in leadership is a healthy thing and that she was ready to return to the classroom.

“I did everything I had promised to do when I was hired as dean,” Rand said.

Administrators appointed Brad Myers to assume the position of interim dean beginning Aug 1. Myers has been a part of the UND staff since 2001 and taught business-related law courses. Myers marked his goals prior to assuming the position as he simply wanted to ‘maintain momentum.’

A search committee to appoint a new dean was formed over the summer of 2018 which included highly esteemed North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle, who is serving as a co-chair of the committee alongside UND law professor James Grijalva. The remaining spots on the committee are held by various UND faculty members.

The committee recently closed in on four candidates Brian Gallini, a University of Arkansas School of Law professor and Senior Associate Dean, Susan Bisom-Rapp, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Scholarship and professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Camille M. Davidson, experienced attorney and higher education leader, and Elizabeth Ann Warner, University of Kansas School of Law Associate Dean.

Another leading departmental position that has been left open is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, that has been held for the last five years by Debbie Storrs. It was announced over the summer that would assume a new position as the single Senior Vice Provost of UND. Storrs shared the position for a year with Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. El-Rewini chose to return to his position as a dean full-time.

Storrs also serves as a liaison to the North Dakota University System as she represents Provost Tom DiLorenzo at the Academic Affairs Council. Storrs held her position as dean until UND was able to appoint an interim dean. UND professor and Associate Dean of Geography Brand Rundquist assumed the position at the start of the fall 2018 semester.

The university announced at the end of the fall semester that they had formed a search committee to fill the position. Amy Henley, Dean of the UND College of Business and Public Administration and Ken Ruit, Associate Dean at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences will serve as co-chairs of the search committee. Remaining Committee members are comprised of UND faculty.

Mid-fall the university found itself once again with an open dean’s position, as the Dean of the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, Gayle Roux, announced her intention to step down as of Dec 21, 2018. Roux chose to step down due to personal and family reasons and will remain on faculty part-time for online learning.

Following the fall semester Provost DiLorenzo announced that Diana Kostrzewski would be appointed interim dean in the new year. Kostrzewski assumed the position Jan 1.

With the three dean positions that remain open, UND will continue its search well into the spring semester to fill these positions.