NMSU suspends search for College of Education dean


Mitchell Allred

Susan Brown is the Interim Dean for the NMSU College of Education.

New Mexico State University has suspended the search in finding a successor for the College of Education Dean indefinitely.

Enrico Pontelli, a chair in the search committee made by NMSU Provost Carol Parker, confirmed in an email they have suspended the search and continue in the future.

According to Parker, the committee was made in October 2019 to assist in identifying and providing professional advice while they “externally” search for a successor.

“They helped identify the characteristics and experience that we were looking for,” Parker said.

Pontelli said the committee assists “in an advisory capacity,” the final decision for the dean position will be made by Parker as hiring officer. Pontelli stated what the College of Education dean “has a key leadership role in the university.” He described what an efficient dean should be during these times.

“In these difficult times, a successful dean needs to have the ability to lead the academic enterprise with both heart and mind, to seek and encourage cooperation, collegiality and support in advancing the academic enterprise with an understanding of the human challenges our community is facing. It is a difficult decision and it’s critical to select the right person to lead the education college into a new future,” Pontelli said.

Before they suspended the search, it was announced in an NMSU News Release on April 2020 the university set virtual public forums for finalists, Brian Beitzel, Bradley Porfilio, Cynthia Reed and John Romans.

Currently, Susan Brown is the Interim Dean for the NMSU College of Education. Parker commented on how well Brown is handling the position.

“She’s done a super job with fundraising, getting scholarships for students, has helped secure many grants and some funding for an autism clinic. The college is humming along nicely,” Parker said.

Parker said however stated Brown does not expect her role to be permanent.

“It is an interim status. When she took on the role, she never intended that it would be permanent. She helped us out when the previous Dean left unexpectedly,” Parker said.

According to Parker, she is in the process of discussing with “academic leadership” to discuss on how to move forward with the search.

“We’re just going through the process of exploring the goals we have for leadership of the college and the future,” Parker said.

Brown stated though how willing she is towards continuing her role.

“I am happy to be continuing as interim dean for the College of Education. I am excited to continue working with the college’s faculty and staff, and I support the fantastic work they are all doing in the face of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each one of us contributes to the success of this college,” Brown said.

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