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January 11, 2007
A search is underway to identify a leader who will play a key role in strengthening entrepreneurship and economic development in the community and state, among academic and other roles.
The future dean of the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Business Administration will have an unusual opportunity to make a mark on both the school and the state. Located in what has long been the nation's fastest-growing state, the University is growing in size and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.
"This is an exciting challenge for the right person," said Heather Hardy, search chair and dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Our university is dynamic and quickly moving to another level. It's a great opportunity."
Some of the many challenges the new dean will address include further development of a strategic vision for the college, including identifying areas of leadership, and developing new revenue streams and outside financial support for the college's needs, such as through entrepreneurial programs and private fundraising. The dean will also continue to engage on the college's behalf with the community and region, and strengthen the college's programs by recruiting and retaining faculty.
Hardy stresses how vital this dean's position is. "The College of Business Administration is poised to play a critical role in the economic development of Reno, northern Nevada and the state," Hardy said, in addition to its important role in the academic mission of the University.
The economic development theme applies to student preparation as well. The dean will work with businesses to make sure graduates have the background and skills to fuel the state's economic growth and employment.
The University is conducting a national search to find the next dean. Mike Reed, the college's dean since 1993, left in July to become vice chancellor of finance and administration for the Nevada System of Higher Education. The new dean will be among the first academic leaders appointed under a new president, Milton D. Glick, and will join a leadership team carrying out a bold vision for the university.
The university is using a search consultant, Isaacson, Miller, to help build a competitive pool. Based in Boston, Isaacson, Miller specializes in recruiting leaders for mission-based organizations, including higher education.
Hardy said the role of the search consultant is to "find people who may not be actively thinking of leaving their current positions, but who would be intrigued by the opportunity here."
She says Isaacson, Miller has been diligent about gathering information from stakeholders about what they hope for in a dean. The process began with the search firm talking with a number of key constituents, including faculty and staff, students, community leaders, search committee members and department chairs. These interviews led to the creation of a search document outlining the college's challenges and opportunities.
A key qualification the search committee is looking for is the ability to integrate with the business community and be engaged in economic development for the whole community, as well as the ability to guide and initiate new programs. Ideally, the future dean should not only be able to promote entrepreneurship in the region, but also be an entrepreneur on behalf of the college.
The search committee plans to narrow the candidate pool by the end of February. After selecting eight to 10 applicants, the search committee and consulting firm will conduct confidential interviews in March. The semifinalists are expected to visit campus in April for a series of interviews, community visits and open forums. A July 1 start date is projected.
"I have a vested interest in this search," said Hardy, "because I want to find a good colleague interested in working with other deans and the Academic Leadership Council as a whole to collectively move the university forward. We're a collaborative group of deans and we want to find someone who's a strong fit and works together well with us."
The college has about 1,800 undergraduate and 350 graduate students, instructed by 55 full-time and 30 adjunct faculty members. In addition to its three academic departments – Accounting and Information Systems, Economics and Managerial Sciences – the college also includes five centers that play a role in the economy of the state and nation: the Nevada Small Business Development Center, the Bureau of Business and Economics Research, the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, the Center for Logistics Management and the Center for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics.