Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Equal student representation on search and screen committee praised

The Dean of Students Search and Screen Committee met for the first time Tuesday to begin the search for a new dean. This is the first committee to have equal representation of students, faculty and academic staff.

At the meeting, Chancellor John Wiley and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Paul Barrows delivered their charge to the committee.

The chair of the Shared Governance Committee, Bryan Gadow, explained the significance and enthusiasm of this victory.

“It is my opinion that this is the most important victory for students in the last five years, in terms of student rights,” he said. “Students will have equal say in choosing the most influential staff member on student issues, the dean of students.”

The newly appointed committee, including five UW students chosen from a 30-person applicant pool, had their first meeting Tuesday to begin the process of replacing Dean Alicia Chavez, who recently resigned.

Gadow said ASM placed advertisements in both student newspapers, posted signs around campus and sent out e-mails to many students on campus organization lists in hopes of recruiting a diverse and qualified applicant pool for the committee.

“My target was between 40 and 50 applicants, but the 30 applicants we had gave us a very qualified group to choose from,” Gadow said.

The five student committee members, Emily McWilliams, Jessica Miller, Darrin Martin, Fatima Ashraf and Alexander Conant, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring both academic and extracurricular experience to the group.

Each member said what they felt to be the most important qualities in a new dean, ranging from simple likability to being unafraid to speak out about controversial issues. All committee members stressed the need for the new dean to recognize the importance of diversity on campus as it pertains to numerous issues.

Jessica Miller, chair of ASM and co-chair of the search and screen committee, said she seeks a dean who understands the way students act on campus and welcomes their involvement.

“We need a dean who is willing to work with the students proactively,” Miller said.

Miller said she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the committee.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve on this committee, as it is the first of its kind,” Miller said. “I hope to have an active voice representing all students as we choose the next dean of students.”

While the committee’s establishment is a success in itself, the ultimate goal is to achieve equal representation of students and faculty on all university committees.

ASM Campus Relations Intern Scott Spector said the increase in student representation has implications for university committees ranging from health services and public safety to other academic concerns.

“I think this is a great first step because we are choosing the most important faculty member on campus, the one with the most contact with students,” Spector said.

Committee member Darrin Martin said he hoped students would recognize the unique opportunity to have equal representation in appointing administrative staff.

Martin also said he sought a dean who would help facilitate dialogue between the administration and students. The committee plans to hold student forums on selection of the dean of students as soon as they have an applicant pool.

“Decision-making and student apathy have been the big problems with the student-dean relationship in the past,” Martin said. “Hopefully, this committee will spur student involvement.”

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