Oct. 13, 2011

Five finalists named in Liberal Arts and Sciences dean search

by Anne Krapfl

A search committee has identified five finalists for the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The finalists are:

  • Albert Boggess, professor and former head of the mathematics department at Texas A&M University, College Station
  • Carolyn Cutrona, professor and chair of the psychology department at Iowa State
  • Chaden Djalali, professor and chair of the physics and astronomy department at the University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Douglas Epperson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Washington State University, Pullman
  • Beate Schmittmann, professor and chair of the physics department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

Campus interviews for the five finalists are scheduled during the last week of October and early November. Each candidate's visit will include a 3:30 p.m. open forum as listed below. A reception will follow each forum.

  • Boggess: Monday, Oct. 24, 1951 Food Sciences
  • Cutrona: Thursday, Oct. 27, 1951 Food Sciences
  • Djalali: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1951 Food Sciences
  • Schmittmann: Thursday, Nov. 3, 1951 Food Sciences
  • Epperson: Monday, Nov. 7, 2019 Morrill

"We're extremely pleased with the high quality of the applicant pool and these five finalists. It's a testament to the strength of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the desirability of this leadership post," said search committee co-chair and Engineering dean Jonathan Wickert. "We're grateful to the LAS community for all the ideas and feedback to the committee since we began the search process in February with two college forums."

Wickert and David Holger, associate provost for academic programs and dean of the Graduate College, are leading a 20-member search committee. Their efforts yielded 37 nominations and 33 applications for the LAS dean post. The five finalists were selected following off-campus interviews Oct. 8-9.

Former LAS dean Michael Whiteford retired from the university on June 30. David Oliver, professor of genetics, development, and cell biology and associate dean for research in the college, is serving as interim dean.

Meet the candidates; complete vita online

Following is more information about the five finalists. Background information on the finalists is online on the LAS dean search website.

Al Boggess has been a member of the mathematics faculty at Texas A&M since 1982 and served as head of A&M's largest department, with 130 faculty, from 2002 until last month. In that capacity, he raised funds for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and an endowed chair. He is the co-author of four textbooks. He earned a B.S. from the University of Texas and Ph.D. in mathematics from Rice University, Houston.

Carolyn Cutrona joined the ISU psychology faculty in 1992 and has served as department chair since 2009. She had leadership roles in ISU's Institute for Social and Behavioral Research from 2000 to 2009, including serving as director (2003-09). Previously, she spent 11 years in the psychology department at the University of Iowa. She is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. She earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University, California; an M.A. in counseling and guidance from the University of Mexico, Albuquerque; and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chaden Djalali has led South Carolina's physics and astronomy department since 2004 and been a university faculty member since 1989. Since 2007, he has held a Carolina Distinguished professorship, which recognizes outstanding research and teaching. He served in tenured research positions at IPN-Orsay (Institut de Physique Nucléaire) in suburban Paris from 1981 to 1992, leaving for two years to work in the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University, East Lansing (1985-87). He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Paris XI, France; and a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from IPN-Orsay.

Doug Epperson has served as dean of Washington State's College of Liberal Arts since 2009. He was a member of the psychology faculty at Iowa State from 1979 to 2009. He served as associate dean of administration in the LAS college (2004-09) and as interim associate dean for the year prior. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a licensed psychologist in Iowa. He earned a B.S. in philosophy and M.S. in educational psychology from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Beate Schmittmann joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1991 and has chaired the physics department since 2006. Previously, she served as a research associate (1984-86) and assistant professor (1986-91) at the Institute for Theoretical Physics III, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society. She earned a diploma in physics from RWTH Aachen University, Germany; and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.