Consultant brings decade of experience to hunt for new dean

A consultant from the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities arrived at Linfield Sept. 16 to assist in the search for a new dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs.
Dr. Jamie Ferrare, senior vice president of the Association of Governing Boards, is a search consultant who will help the administration select the new dean. Ferrare said he suspects the new dean will join Linfield sometime in June 2011.
Ferrare is no stranger to Linfield, as he helped the administration pick Victoria McGillin to be Linfield’s dean of faculty and vice president of student affairs in 2008. He said this previous experience will help him in his advisory role at Linfield.
“I know Linfield well enough,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons they chose me to come.”
McGillin stepped down to the surprise of many at the end of the 2010 spring semester (“Dean of faculty turns in unexpected resignation,” TLR, April 2).
Ferrare had his first meeting with the selection committee Sept. 16. He said they discussed the criteria for how the new candidates would be selected.
“The committee members are the ones who provide that information,” Ferrare said. “I’m here for these two days to go over that criteria and see what they’re hoping for.”
He said that the committee is looking for a candidate that has a good teaching and scholarship record, has administrative experience, is an advocate of the faculty, understands the role of Linfield’s faculty programs.
The candidate would also need to understand the accrediting process, be approachable and have a passion for global arts and Linfield students.
Ferrare said that the criteria were not yet prioritized.
“Whoever sees the list will probably have different priorities,” he said. “We’ll probably build a list that makes sense for the majority of the people here and use that as our template.”
Ferrare and the committee will assemble a pool of candidates — he thinks roughly 40 to 50 to start — and then whittle away the less promising ones until there are only 10 or so. The committee has the final say in any decision.
“I don’t get to vote,” Ferrare said. “They do. Of the 40 or 50 candidates, here are 10 we really like. Let’s see if we can get to know them better.”
The candidates will then be reduced to three or four in number and invited to campus. President Thomas Hellie will make the final decision.
Ferrare said he will be present for the interviews, but his responsibilities are primarily preparation on behalf of the committee.
“I help the committee get ready for these interviews,” he said. “What questions do we ask? I provide them with background information on the candidates. I will have done reference calls and due diligence. I’d have a good understanding of who these people are, what their strengths are, if they have any weaknesses and what they might be, and what their reputation is. That’s my responsibility.”
The Association of Governing Bodies will also conduct an extensive background check, including criminal and records and credit checks.
“We make sure they are citizens of good standing,” Ferrare said.
Ferrare, in addition to being the senior vice president of the Association of Governing Bodies, is a senior consultant at Academic Search, Inc. He joined in 2000, according to the association’s website.
He is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he earned a doctorate in educational administration before becoming the dean of education at Drake University.

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at

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