New dean to be chosen for science center

Biola has narrowed down applicants for the position of dean to four individuals.


Infographic by Sean Leone/THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar, Writer

After five months of deliberation, the dean search committee for the new Alton and Lydia Lim Center of Science, Technology and Health has come down to four candidates who will meet with students and professors from the science department from March 14 through March 18.

Narrowing Down Applicants

In fall 2015, Biola employed the assistance of CarterBaldwin Executive Search to help narrow down the 130 applicants. Applications were sent out to individuals both inside and outside of Biola. By February, 28 candidates were left, allowing Biola’s dean search committee, consisting of nine individuals with positions from provost, deans and professors of sciences and engineering, to continue the search from there. Within the next two weeks, the committee will decide on the chosen candidate, said Lee Wilhite, vice president of University Communications and Marketing and member of the dean search committee.

“We’ve painted a pretty clear picture on what we’re looking for recognizing not any one individual might have all of those qualifications,” Wilhite said.

Oversight & Leadership

The dean of the science center will receive supervision from the Office of the Provost and will oversee chairs, directors and administrative support staff from the school of science, technology and health. Some general qualifications include a doctorate from one of the science, technology or health fields, experience teaching at a college and having demonstrated leadership experience and effective communication.

The new dean must be a servant leader, bring unity to the various departments in the sciences, articulate Biola’s position and strengths in the sciences and encourage new faculty on what to do, said Rafe Payne, professor emeritus of biology.

“I think real attention needs to be paid to faculty development and encouragement and that probably goes with being a team leader and a servant leader,” Payne said. “I’m excited to see all of the sciences being housed in one building. It brings us together and I hope it does more than bring us together in a physical location.”

Many Responsibilities

Ruth Ebeling, associate professor of biological sciences, understands the need for funding and expects many responsibilities will go along with such a task. She also desires the new dean to advocate for the sciences while remaining open-minded.

“[Administration] wants the dean to be someone who looks for funding for the new school and that’s going to be a real biggie too,” Ebeling said. “I’d like somebody to be forward-looking too, you know, that would be open to ideas and not shut them down because they don’t fit into this particular rubric.”

With several diverse perspectives coming in from across campus, Wilhite found the entire selection process enlightening, leaving him impressed with the committee from Biola, CarterBaldwin Executive Search and the applicants.

Informative Process

“It’s been a very informative process, like I said, with the committee selection there’s been a cross-pollination of a lot of different leaders on campus and that’s been helpful for us bringing in different perspectives in our meetings and review different candidates. I’ve been really impressed with the comprehensive nature of the process itself and CarterBaldwin getting [Biola] through this process,” Wilhite said.

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