As the search for the next dean of the College of Engineering continues, it is critical the selected candidate attends to not only the interests of the institution but to its students as well.

“I would like the future dean to have a strong value and appreciation for making personal connections with individuals,” said Kate Klavon, junior in agricultural engineering and president of the ISU chapter of the American Society of Agriculture & Biological Engineers.

Klavon said an ideal dean would serve as a liaison between industry and the university.

“The College of Engineering is filled with talented students with a wide range of knowledge and interests,” Klavon said. “Promoting what our students are capable of to [the] industry would be something all students would appreciate.”

Austin Dorenkamp, junior in computer engineering and president of Freshmen Leaders in Engineering at Iowa State, believes a successful dean is one who is personable.

“It is crucial that the new dean make himself or herself available to the students,” Dorenkamp said.

One way this has been executed in the past has been by means of events such as “Picnic with the Dean,” an event where the current dean visits with students and gauges their interests and concerns in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Several students believe one of the highest aforementioned priorities pertains to the dean’s ability to guide the college in the “right direction” and to maintain the success expected by the students and faculty in the College of Engineering.

“He or she must identify ways to positively evolve the College of Engineering in order to make it more robust and diverse,” Dorenkamp said.

Jonathan Wickert, provost and senior vice president and the former engineering dean, is also in accordance with these sentiments as he aids in the search for his successor.

Wickert said the next dean will be one “who has a great vision for the future,” one who is capable of “teaching engineering, doing research in engineering” and also one who can grasp “the way that the engineering college works with companies.”

Moreover, Wickert said the next dean “will be very student-focused in how he or she will lead the college.”

Upon scanning for applicants for the position, Wickert, as well as a designated search committee of staff and students, have narrowed the field to three final candidates. To cap off the search for the next dean, all members of the ISU community are invited to attend and participate in open forums held separately for each candidate.

All forums will be at 4 p.m. in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall on each candidate’s respective dates.

The first forum will be for Robert Bishop, current dean of Marquette University’s college of engineering. This will be Monday, Nov. 26.

A forum for Mark Law, current associate dean of engineering for academic affairs at the University of Florida, will be Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The last open forum will be for Sarah Rajala, dean of the college of engineering at Mississippi State University, set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

At the forums, the candidates each will present a speech regarding their candidacy for the position. A question and answer segment will follow directly.

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