College of Arts & Sciences’ dean search committee announced

Committee to conduct two discussion sessions open to Arts & Sciences community

Gary S. Wihl, PhD, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has appointed an eight-member committee to identify candidates for the position of dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

James E. McLeod, longtime dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and vice chancellor for students, died Sept. 6.

Sharon Stahl, PhD, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of the First Year Center, and Wayne Fields, PhD, the Lynne Cooper Harvey Distinguished Professor of English in Arts & Sciences, agreed to take on the additional responsibilities of leading the College of Arts & Sciences on an interim basis.

Stahl is serving as senior associate dean in the college office and Fields as senior faculty adviser to the College of Arts & Sciences. Their appointments were effective Oct. 1.

Wolfram Schmidgen, PhD, associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences, has been appointed chair of the search committee.

The committee will receive applications and nominations and is also empowered to identify and approach potential candidates in the course of the search.

All tenured Arts & Sciences faculty members may apply for the position, which reports directly to the dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences. A summary description and a list of the primary duties of the college dean is available upon request from Schmidgen.

The search committee will begin by looking exclusively at internal candidates and may conduct an external search if necessary.

“A successful search is critical to our mission of undergraduate education at Washington University, and to help guide this process through to the appointment of a new dean, I have convened an advisory committee charged with the latitude to consult widely on this matter,” said Wihl, the Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities.

To assist in the planning and review process and to better inform the search proceedings, the committee will conduct two discussion sessions, open to everyone in the Arts & Sciences community.

The first meeting, which will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in January Hall, Room 110, will focus on how the College of Arts & Sciences evolved during McLeod’s tenure and how Arts & Sciences created a distinctive undergraduate experience that now sets Washington University apart from other universities.

During the second meeting, to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, also in January Hall, Room 110, the committee members hope to identify the college’s current trajectory and ways to guide it into the future.

“Jim McLeod transformed undergraduate education in Arts & Sciences,” Schmidgen says. “We need to understand better how he did so and identify future challenges. It is on this basis that we can find the best candidate for this key position in the college.”

Each session will begin with comments from a panel of faculty members and administrators and then open up into a general discussion.

Wihl says that the search process should be complete by early next spring with an appointment effective for the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

For consideration, letters of application and nomination materials should be sent in confidence to: College Dean Search, Campus Box 1094, or to

Committee members

Gary S. Wihl, PhD, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences, has appointed Wolfram M. Schmidgen, PhD, associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences, to chair an eight-member search committee for the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Wihl also named the following individuals to the committee:

  • Ashley D. Brosius, a senior in Arts & Sciences, is a triple major in women, gender and sexuality studies; anthropology; and political science.
  • Denise P. Head, PhD, associate professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences;
  • Ian R. MacMullen, PhD, assistant professor of political science in Arts & Sciences;
  • Shelley Milligan, EdD, associate provost;
  • Kevin D. Moeller, PhD, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences;
  • Rachel Roberts, PhD, professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences; and
  • William E. Wallace, PhD, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History in Arts & Sciences.