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October 26, 2001

Search committee for Business dean to convene

by Debra Gibson
A 16-member committee, headed by Education Dean Walter Gmelch, will begin the search for a new College of Business dean next week.

The new dean will succeed Benjamin Allen, appointed July 1 to a one-year term as interim vice president of external affairs. Allen announced earlier this semester he will return to the College of Business faculty at the conclusion of his interim vice presidency. He will be on leave during the 2002-03 academic year and rejoin the faculty in fall 2003. Labh Hira, professor of accounting, is serving as interim dean for the College of Business.

Allen, a distinguished professor of transportation and logistics, was a member of the ISU faculty from 1979 to 1990, and served as chair of the department of transportation and logistics. Following one year at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Allen returned to ISU. He was named interim dean of the college in September 1994 and appointed dean in May 1995.

"Given the recent growth in the number of students and new programs in the College of Business, it was a difficult decision to not continue serving as dean," Allen said. "On the other hand, I thought the timing was right, given the excellent current status of the college: The Gerdin Business Building is moving forward and construction will soon begin; the quality of the faculty and student body is the highest ever; and the level of support of the alumni and friends of the college is outstanding. Given all of this, the college is well positioned to attract very strong candidates for the position of dean."

According to Gmelch, the search committee will hold its initial meeting Monday, Oct. 29, to discuss a timeline and position description. Gmelch said the goal currently is to have a new dean selected this spring, and in place by summer.

"I consider chairing this committee one of my most important tasks this year," Gmelch said. "It is of absolute critical importance that we find exemplary leadership for the College of Business. Ben Allen is one of the top deans I've ever met, which makes this process even more challenging. He will be very hard to replace."

Those appointed to the committee include faculty members Dennis Caplan, accounting; Richard Carter, finance and accounting; Michael Crum, logistics, operations and management information systems; Dermot Hayes, agribusiness/economics and finance; Mary Littrell, textiles and clothing; Ted Okiishi, College of Engineering administration; Kay Palan, marketing; Brad Shrader, management; and Alicia Carriquiry, statistics and associate provost.

Others appointed include Steven Carter, Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship; Steven Chapman, ITA Group, West Des Moines; Richard Jurgens, Hy-Vee Inc., West Des Moines; Ann Coppernoll Farni, College of Business; and business students Kayla Gleason (undergraduate) and Jess Silva (graduate).

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