Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture has begun a search for a new associate dean of research in an effort to advance the research initiative in the college’s departments.
This comes after William Doan, the current executive in the position, chose to take on a different role within the university.
Doan, whose current job description carries a much broader title, as he is listed as associate dean for administration, research and graduate studies in the college said that he will vacate the position at the end of June.
Director of the School of Visual Arts Graeme Sullivan said Doan’s position is being reconfigured with an increased focus on research in the arts.
“The main role [of the job] is to help to re-vision the role of research within the college and also within the university because Penn State has very strong research that is grounded mostly in science and technology,” he said. “Part of the challenge is finding someone that can help position arts within the overall research culture of Penn State.”
After five years of serving in the position, Doan said he will move to a faculty position as a full professor teaching both graduate and undergraduate classes in the School of Theatre .
“The position has been great, and it was an incredible opportunity,” he said. “But I’m really hungry to focus on my own research and my own creative work, so going back to the faculty gives me a chance to do that.”
Applications for the position are now being accepted, and reviews of the applications are expected to begin in a few weeks, Sullivan said.
He said that the college is looking for an individual well experienced in areas of research across all fields. The college also hopes to find someone equipped with vision and leadership in areas of research — particularly in the arts — who can contribute to the research culture in the university at all levels.
Candidates for the position must either hold a terminal research degree, such as a Ph.D. in one of the arts areas, or demonstrate comparable experience in research at the national level or evolving policy, Sullivan said.
Director of Administrative Operations in the College of Arts and Architecture Dawn Datt said that the selected candidate will assume a host of duties, such as faculty research support, management, research development and implementation, research advocacy and direct management of the college’s research office, among others.
Head of Penn State’s Department of Art History Craig Zabel said that research in the College of Arts and Architecture is equally important as that of any other college.
“Sometimes it takes on a different approach than it might in the sciences in that it can also include creative achievement,” he said. “These sort of things take on a rather different aspect than what you might find in a laboratory.”
He added that some of the college’s research takes on a more practical approach, such as exploring issues in landscape architecture in communities devastated by natural disasters.
Although the college does not usually boast the enormous research grants that others within the university do, Zabel said that it has seen a recent significant rise in awarded funding.