The University of Indianapolis School of Business conducted a search for a new dean, according to an email sent by the UIndy Provost on Oct. 27. The dean search committee selected three finalists to present on Nov. 3, 7 and 9 in a forum open to the UIndy community, according to the email. UIndy Interim Dean of the School of Business Stephen Tokar said that the forums focused on discussing the challenges higher education faces.
“Each candidate had two events that I attended,” Tokar said. “Both of them were basically presentations to groups of people. The first group was an open forum to faculty and staff in general at the university, and the other forum was specifically just to faculty of staff at the School of Business, the secondary event. The candidates were supposed to answer the question, ‘What are some of the challenges facing higher education and how would you deal with them?’”
The forums also allowed for discussion of the opportunities that higher education sees, according to the email. Tokar said he helped provide opinions after listening to each candidate’s presentation.
“My role is merely like everyone else’s, which is advisory only,” Tokar said. “I’m not on the search committee and I merely would provide opinions after listening to the candidates make their presentations. I participated in all of the on-campus presentations that the candidates made, both to general students and faculty here at the university and then specifically just to the School of Business faculty.”
Tokar said that during his time at UIndy, he has witnessed other dean searches and changes within the School of Business. According to Tokar, he has helped to keep morale up within the school, removing barriers to the staff and helping them complete their work.
“I was Director of Graduate Business Programs for about 16 years and I’ve also been a faculty member, and still am,” Tokar said. “And I’ve been Associate Dean for the last seven years. Of course, now I’m not Associate Dean, I’m the Interim Dean and I’ve actually served as Interim Dean before about, I don’t know, 12 years ago.”
It is important to select a candidate that aligns with the School of Business’ values as well, according to Tokar. He recommended the School of Business further expand as he felt it was underrepresented.
“It’s very important first of all that we get somebody whose values are congruent with our own and who has a vision for the future that is congruent with the upper administration and something we can accomplish,” Tokar said.
According to Tokar, the decision process is still under review. While the date students can expect the new dean to be announced is unknown, Tokar said that the announcement should come out shortly.
“I’ve asked several people recently when we can expect an announcement to be made because obviously, we have interviewed the three finalists,” Tokar said. “So it’s just a matter of them deciding who they’re going to choose … I guess I would expect something to come out shortly.”