The University of Wisconsin search and screen committee publicly announced three candidates for the dean of education Thursday to replace retiring dean Charles Read.
The candidates were presented to Chancellor John Wiley at a Wednesday meeting and include Michigan State University professor Peg Barratt, dean and professor of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University Jane Close Conoley and Julie Underwood, general counselor and associate executive director of the National School Boards Association.
Barratt and Underwood are former UW faculty members.
“No matter which [candidate] is selected in the end, I think [they] will be an outstanding dean,” Provost Peter Spear said.
Spear added the three candidates will schedule visits to the campus and meet with all of the contingencies of the School of Education. Wiley and Spear will then take staff and students’ suggestions into account and make the final decision sometime in June, Musolf said.
The 17-member search and screen committee, who selected the candidates, is comprised of two UW students, two academic staff, two classified staff, faculty members, a dean and a community member, according to secretary of faculty David Musolf.
However, Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance Chair Eyal Halamish said the search and screen committee that selected the candidates was illegally constructed. According to Halamish, the committee is supposed to be comprised of two students appointed by ASM.
“We don’t stand behind the process through which they were selected,” Halamish said.
Halamish said his committee has sent a complaint to the Board of Regents and are still waiting for a response from UW system president Kevin Reilly.
However, if Reilly fails to respond to the shared governance committee, Halamish said they plan to take the matter to the court system.
Halamish added Spear and Wiley have admitted to wrongly assembling the search and screen committee. By allowing for the three candidates to be selected they are “sidesteping” the issue, he added.
“Our stance is to notify candidates they were selected illegally,” Halamish said.
Spear said the search and screen committee was constructed according to UW rules, regent regulations, and they have been advised that the committee was selected legally.
“We are advised that it is completely legal,” Spear said.
However, he said if the Regents rule that the committee was constructed illegally it would not effect the current status of candidates.
“If the Regents rule that we should have followed a different procedure it would be a matter for future searches, but I don’t think it would affect this search,” Spear said.
The UW School of Education is one of the best in the country and, according to Musolf, the dean’s position receives a salary between $160,000 and $200,000.