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New Dean, New Start

The next dean needs to be someone who can even out the playing field and bring unity back to the College of Arts and Sciences (Northern Review Photo/Nathan Grizenko).

The next dean needs to be someone who can even out the playing field and bring unity back to the College of Arts and Sciences (Northern Review Photo/Nathan Grizenko).

Every time someone asks me what I like about Ohio Northern University, I always say that I love the faculty they hire because they’re always so helpful, supportive, and genuinely interested in their students’ success.

Recently, the Getty College of Arts and Sciences ended its year-long search for the next dean, and the final decision is now left to Provost Maria Cronley and President Dan DiBiasio.

I had the pleasure of meeting all four of the final candidates seeking the position of Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences as I am a member of the Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board (SAB). As a representative of this college for Student Senate, too, I have very high expectations for the next dean, and I hope all students and faculty members do, as well.

My top two favorite candidates were Holly Baumgartner, the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lourdes University and Robert Alexander, Chair of ONU’s Department of History, Politics, and Justice.

Both exhibited a very genuine concern for the students' and faculty members' success and well-being within the college. Both understood the requirements and responsibilities of such a prestigious administrative position. My one concern is that Alexander is already a familiar face on campus.

Alexander expressed great interest in the position, but I feel as if it would be unfair to choose him over Baumgartner simply because he is already well-known. Baumgartner has expressed a very real and deep interest in this position. Her past work at Lourdes University includes serving as advisor of the scholars’ program, co-chair of the Honors Task Force, and coordinator of the Honors Program. She, too, had a strong connection with members of the Student Advisory Board.

I think at the end of the day, the University needs to ask whether or not ONU is in need of some "new blood." Perhaps it is time for someone to come in with some new ideas and a different perspective and bring the college together? The current divide between the arts and sciences that seems to be quite evident to me—even as a freshman—is detrimental to the success of the students and the college, and I think it's time to add in a new referee to level out the playing field.

I encourage students and faculty to express their own thoughts and interests as the University prepares to announce the next addition to the ONU administration.

ONU was founded upon core principles that make the school an inviting, enriching, and treasured institution of innovation and growth.

The people who are hired should foster an environment that upholds those principles.