Faculty searches continue in seven departments

Jonathan Isaacson

As President Rik Warch’s e-mail to the Lawrence community made everyone aware, the search for a new university president is moving along, with hopes of making a final selection by March of 2004. But it isn’t just the president’s position that the university is looking to fill. Six departments within the college and one in the conservatory are currently engaged in faculty searches of their own. The college departments currently at various stages in their searches are Anthropology, Art, English, Geology, Government, and History.

The Anthropology department is trying to fill one of two vacancies that will be open next year. The other is to be filled by Carla Daughtry, who has worked as an instructor on anthropology the last few years as a pre-doctoral fellow, according to Peter Peregrine, the department chair.

One position is open due to the long-term disability of George Saunders. The other vacancy will open when Julie Hastings leaves at the end of this school year. Saunders and Hastings’ focuses are Europe and Latin America, respectively.

According to Peregrine, the new faculty member will hopefully be a specialist in Asia.

The department has already brought in their three candidates and ranked them. The administration is now trying to hire their pick.

The Art department is looking for a sculptor, according to Michael Orr, the Art department chair. Orr said the Art department is “typically slower than the other departments [in the hiring process].”

While no candidates have yet come to the university, Orr said that they have been screening applications and the pool is a good one.

“We anticipate bringing candidates to campus either late this term or early next term,” Orr said.

The Geology department is looking for a geochemist. According to Marcia Bjornerud, department chair, the department is looking for a specialist in “low temperature environments: surface and near sub-surface environments.”

The new professor will hopefully also be able to contribute to the environmental studies courses. The new professor will replace Tony Hoch.

Currently, the department is having the second of four candidates on campus. Bjornerud hopes to have made an offer by the second week in February.

The Government department is looking for a new faculty member to replace Chon-do Hah, who will be retiring at the end of this year. According to Claudena Skran, department chair, they are looking for someone who “specializes in public policy and environmental politics.”

The department has already conducted two interviews with candidates and will conduct two more in the near future. They, too, hope to have a decision made by February.

The History department is looking for a Colonial and Early American specialist. “Basically from the early 17th century until the civil war,” department chair Paul Cohen specified. The new faculty member would fill the position left vacant after Wendy Nicholson’s departure last year.

The search process is very near the end. The last two of four candidates presented this week. By the end of the term the decision should be made as to the future of the History department.

In the Conservatory, Kathleen Murray, Dean of the Conservatory, said that they are looking to hire a new piano professor to fill Catherine Kautsky’s position. The Conservatory’s search is just beginning now; the advertisement for the opening was just this week made public.

According to Murray, “We hope to begin screening applicants in mid-February, and possibly bring candidates [to campus] late this term or early next term.”

Murray said they hope to be able to extend an offer to their top candidate by mid-April.

Spurgin reports that the English department “has a lot of excellent candidates. We are confident we will choose a good one.”