The LeBow College of Business is weeks away from selecting a new Dean, a position that has not had a full time occupant for almost a year, University leadership has said.
The search for a new dean began last October when Dean George P. Tsetsekos decided not to continue in the position and a search committee was assembled to select a new dean in time for the opening of Gerri C. LeBow Hall.
During the spring of this year, the committee presented a final list of candidates to the provost and the president, according to Roger Dennis, the dean of the Earle Mack School of Law and chair of the committee. Drexel University was prepared to offer the position to a candidate, G. Anandalingam, but he rejected the offer.
“He decided to go to Imperial College, London, which is a very, very distinguished, highly ranked business school. It was between Imperial College and Drexel, and that’s like playing in the big leagues, so we didn’t get picked that time. I’m not embarrassed by that. In fact, I like that we’re playing in the big leagues,” Provost Mark Greenberg said.
When asked about why they didn’t decide then to look among the other finalists, as opposed to starting a whole new pool, Lori Doyle, senior vice president of University Communications, wrote in an email: “We interviewed three finalists for the position, as selected by the search committee. During campus interviews, two of the three finalists did not receive strong support from various constituencies. Thus, we were down to a final candidate. He was offered the position and chose another job at a distinguished international university in London. Hence, a re-commenced search.”
According to Dennis, the search began soon after the previous one ended, drawing from a pool of up to 70 candidates. The committee met Sept. 19 and narrowed the candidates down to nine.
“They’re going to bring those nine in for interviews and hopefully bring those down to four candidates who will come down to meet me and the president,” Greenberg said.
The position has also been open to applications, but the committee was chosen by President John A. Fry specifically to help search for and approach possible candidates for the position.
“We are expecting the new dean of LeBow College to come with a proven track record of leadership, achievement in building enterprises and managing people, successful fundraising, deep insight into the changing business climate, and a knowledge of the dynamic landscape of business education globally and how best to position Drexel within it,” Fry wrote in an email.
“This person should bring a stellar reputation as thought leader, one who acts with integrity and transparency, and one who brings imaginative approaches to business education in all its modes: in person, online, hybrid. We seek a collaborative colleague and someone who appreciates that at Drexel we operate as one University,” he continued.
The committee also worked with a search firm that reached out to people at other universities who were interested in or deemed qualified for the position. The firm presented to the committee those who responded to advertisements and those to whom they reached out. The committee reviewed the credentials of all the presented candidates and decided who would be brought in for interviews.
“I work with the search consultants to find and bring in candidates for what we euphemistically called ‘airport interviews.’ They’re not really at the airport. It’s at the Four Seasons; it’s nicer than the airport,” Dennis said. “We would do about one-hour or so screening interviews, and then the committee gets back together and decides on candidates we’d like to bring back on to campus, and then the president and the provost control the process after that.”
According to Greenberg, the committee will ask the candidates about their background and the qualities for which Drexel is looking.
After the committee picks four candidates from the current nine, the provost and the president will decide to offer the position to one of them. “The interview is just as much about how the candidate answers the question as it is about the answer,” Greenberg said.
The identities of the candidates, Dennis said, are left confidential in order to protect their current employment.
Greenberg predicted that the final four candidates will be chosen within the next two to three weeks and that a new dean will be appointed before Thanksgiving. Until then, Vice Dean Frank Linnehan will continue as the interim dean.
“He’s a longtime faculty member. He’s very admired. He’s well respected among many, many people across Drexel. I just got some messages from him today about some grants to do some work internationally to develop the new school of economics that’s being launched. The college is hardly sitting still; it’s really moving ahead,” Greenberg said.