(Photo contributed by Miami University News and Communications)
By Krista Savage, News Editor
After launching its search for a new dean in spring 2015, Miami University’s College of Arts and Science (CAS) selected Christopher Makaroff, former Interim Dean of CAS and professor of chemistry and biology.
The CAS is the biggest academic division at Miami, offering 59 percent of the university’s credit hours. The department brings together humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and employs approximately 500 full-time faculty and more than 185 staff on the Oxford campus.
According to the position description, the dean’s responsibilities include the overall academic and administrative leadership of CAS, as well as providing intellectual and creative leadership. The dean is also responsible for collaborating with academic programs in planning, reviewing and developing activities within the college.
Along with his responsibilities within CAS, the dean must work closely with faculty and administrative staff of all divisions, other deans and university leaders.
Makaroff has served as the Interim Dean of CAS since Feb. 1, when Phyllis Callahan, who had served as Dean of CAS since 2012, vacated the position to become provost and executive vice president at the university. Prior to that time, Makaroff served as the Associate Dean for CAS and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
“During my time at Miami, I have had the opportunity to work with chairs and program directors, faculty, staff and students within the College of Arts and Science, as well as with administrators, faculty, staff and students from across the university,” Makaroff said.
In his application letter, Makaroff expressed that higher education is changing nationally with new public expectations that challenge universities to produce higher student outcomes with fewer resources. He said universities are also being challenged to more clearly articulate the value of a higher education and, in particular, the value of a liberal arts degree.
“The current environment for higher education is both challenging and very exciting,” Makaroff said. “This is especially true in the College of Arts and Science.”
Makaroff spoke about the missions he addressed in his application letter, and how CAS is prepared for the future.
“The College of Arts and Science is well positioned to face today’s challenges and position Miami University for continued success as the No. 1 public institution for commitment to [undergraduate] teaching,” he said. “We have a strong, committed faculty who are dedicated to achieving scholarly excellence and providing exceptional academic experiences for our students.”
Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Raymond Gorman, served as the chair of the Dean Search Committee. His role as the committee chair was to coordinate the process in a timely manner, communicate with the candidates and ensure that all of the proper search procedures were being followed.
The search committee was composed of the chair, eight faculty members, two students, two staff and a CAS Advisory Council Member.
The role of the committee was to complete the initial screening of applicants for the position and interview, then recommend the semifinalists and finalists to the provost. It was the responsibility of the provost in consultation with the president to select the new dean.
“When recommending who to invite to campus, the committee looked at relevant administrative experience and success as a teacher-scholar,” Gorman said. “These are certainly attributes that Chris Makaroff brings to the position.”