University Senate discusses search

The University Senate convened last Thursday afternoon to discuss academic and budgetary matters.

The forum covered several announcements, including the state of the presidential search.

This search has been going on for almost a year, and the final candidate will be visiting this week. Hesham El-Rewini, the dean of the College of Engineering and Mines, commented on the itinerary of the visits:

“The goal was to maximize the engagement of the different constituents, and also to give the candidates ample opportunity to see the campus, the city and the people,” El-Rewini said.

He went on to outline the itinerary of each presidential visit, which included meeting with the Alumni Association and Foundation leadership, the university’s vice president and cabinet, athletic director, members from the business community in Grand Forks, a phone conversation with the chancellor and the forums with faculty, staff and students.

He also described the three events the candidates participated in during each night of their stay. On the first night, the candidates had dinner with the coaches of the hockey and football teams. On the second night they participated in a reception at the president’s house which included members of the UND and Grand Forks community.

The third night consisted of a small dinner with the candidate,  his spouse and six other people, including a legislator, community member, faculty member, administrator, search committee member and an alumnus.

“By doing this, we thought that all constituents had equal, or at least some opportunity to see the candidates,” El-Rewini said.

Feedback from internal constituents has not been as much as El-Rewini would like, with less than 100 surveys completed per candidate.

“I’m asking all of you to fill out this questionnaire. We can only have accurate understanding of what the campus wants if the sample sizes are comparable,” El-Rewini said.

Another topic of conversation at the meeting was the graduate dean search for the Graduate School. It was explained that applicants have been met with and that a top tier has been identified.

There also is a search for an aerospace dean, which has been handled by an outside firm so far. The university will receive access to the list of candidates within the next week, and the university will meet with the firm after spring break. The committee hopes to begin interviews by the end of March and have their choice by July.

An honors search committee has also been assembled, and it will be working with the University Senate Honors Committee to find a new honors director.

Also discussed was the movement of the geology major from residing solely within the College of Arts and Sciences, to a major which may also be taken through the College of Engineering and Mines. This change will be active at the beginning of next semester.

The University Senate consists of staff representatives from each of the many academic departments within UND and is open for viewing to the general public.

David Satre is a news editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]