Finding an Innovative Leader for an Innovative Institution
by Taylor Derrisaw | published Dec. 20th, 2014
RIT is known for producing innovative, intelligent and efficient leaders. With a rise in global competitiveness and a need for effective decision makers, the university expects its leaders to step up to the plate and lead by example.
The Saunders College of Business, one of the most lauded business colleges in the nation, is currently searching for a new dean to carry their mission forward. The dean search is led by a committee with two co-chairs that is responsible for evaluating each candidate.
The search committee is led by Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Lisa Cauda and Department Chair of Management at Saunders Bob Barbato. The two administrators serve as co-chairs on the committee and are very influential in the process of selecting a new dean.
The process started with 59 applicants who sent in their resumes; the search committee reviewed each applicant’s qualifications to determine if they had the proper credentials to be considered. Out of the 59 applicants, eight were selected as semi-finalists and interviewed by Cauda and Barbato. The two co-chairs narrowed the list down to three potential candidates, who will visit campus during the height of its activity. During these visits, the university hosts open forums designed to include student input in the decision-making process.
Cauda believes that the open forums are an effective method of encouraging student participation in the process.
“The open forums are a great opportunity for student input…they really serve for both parties to have some great dialogue,” Cauda commented. So far, the search committee has been impressed with the caliber of discussions that have taken place.
After data has been gathered from the campus on the finalists, the search committee will submit their information to the provost, who will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Barbato commented on some of the traits they were looking for in a potential dean. “We wanted to see a good fit. RIT has a culture, it focuses on career education, it has an innovative element to the culture and it is of course technology based, so we wanted to be sure somebody has a good fit with that culture.” Cauda nodded and added, “We’re looking for someone who is a good leader, someone who’s visionary and also somebody who can implement the objectives of the college."
In order for a potential dean to be considered, both of the co-chairs expect the dean to be well-versed in the business community and have a strong academic background. Cauda and Barbato are also looking for experience in a leadership role.
“If we see some good administrative experience and a good background in working effectively with the business community and with faculty, that’s the kind of person we’d like.”
The dean’s responsibilities will include acting as a respectable and accountable leader, as well as serving as a representative to the Dean’s Council. Barbato expects the new dean to be able to interact efficiently with the community, both internal and external to RIT. “The dean will have the responsibility of acting with stakeholders external to the college, especially alumni, the business community and donors,” he noted.
Negotiations will conclude by the end of the calendar year.