University News

This Week in Higher Ed: March 4, 2014

University News Editor
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yale establishes new dean post, forms search committee

Yale announced a significant change to its administrative hierarchy Thursday, creating a dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, the Yale Daily News reported.

The establishment of the new dean position marks the first reshuffling of Yale’s administrative structure in the last 50 years and follows a January faculty committee report, which concluded that it was unfeasible for the university’s provost and the Yale College dean to fulfill their current duties, the YDN reported.

The FAS dean’s responsibilities will include managing the budget process for the faculty of arts and sciences, as well as controlling  appointments to and promotions within the body, which comprises 43 percent of Yale’s tenured faculty members.

The move leaves Yale with three simultaneous dean searches after Mary Miller and Thomas Pollard, deans of its undergraduate college and graduate school, respectively, announced in January that they will step down at the end of the academic year.

Yale President Peter Salovey formed a committee Friday to advise on the selection of all three deans, the YDN reported.


Harvard committee recommends new email search procedures

A task force established almost a year ago by Harvard President Drew Faust — after an email search scandal shook the university — released a set of recommendations Thursday to guide future searches of electronic communications, the Harvard Crimson reported.

The committee’s report enumerated legitimate reasons for accessing student and faculty email accounts, recommended notifying individuals whose information is accessed and proposed the creation of an independent oversight body including faculty members to monitor adherence to the report’s standards, among other suggestions, the Crimson reported.

If adopted, the new procedures would give Harvard a universal electronic communications policy that governs the entire institution.

The email search scandal last spring involved secret searches of 16 resident deans’ email accounts and the unauthorized search of a faculty email address, which many speculated resulted in the resignation of then-Dean of the College Evelynn Hammonds, who authorized the searches, last May.


Common App leader departs

After overseeing a turbulent transition to an overhauled online application system, Robert Killion, executive director of the Common Application, left the organization Wednesday after nearly a decade at the helm, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Whether he was fired or departed of his own accord remains a point of contention. Thyra Briggs, president of the Common App’s board of directors, said Killion resigned and characterized the move as Killion’s decision to step down.

But Killion adamantly rejected that narrative, saying he was fired. “I was told, ‘Effective immediately, your services are no longer required,’” Killion told the Chronicle, adding that the board of directors was “making me the scapegoat” for the organization’s troubles last fall.

A series of technological glitches with the new Common App last fall left students, teachers and college counselors frustrated and forced several universities using the system to delay their application deadlines.


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