Interviews for the College of Arts & Sciences search for a new Dean has ended, and the future of the college is now in the hands of the Search Committee and President Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J. The interviews, which began at the last week of October to the middle of November, gave students, faculty, and numerous committees within the college the opportunity to learn more about the finalists and ask questions about their professional background. Each finalist comes from a different background, but all want to contribute towards achieving USF’s mission. Gerardo Marin, Search Committee Chair, said, “We hope to announce the decision in December.”
Dr. Marcelo Camperi is currently the Interim Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences at USF. He is also s professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and received his doctorate in Theoretical/Mathematical Physics at Boston University. Collectively, Camperi has spent fourteen years at USF serving in multiple committees, including the Provost Council, the College Curriculum Committee, and Council for Associate Deans. “I embrace the University’s Jesuit and Catholic identity and its vision for Social Justice and a humanistic education for its students,” Camperi said, “I am extremely excited at the possibility of giving back to the University as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.” Camperi has spent his professional career at USF and wants to see the university rank amongst the top 50 nationally ranked colleges. If appointed Dean, Camperi would “strive for rigor and excellence in our academic programs and aggressively seek to make diverse, high-caliber full-time faculty and staff hires to support this goal.” Camperi would also continue to support environmental justice and sustainability throughout the school.
Dr. Nicola Pitchford is currently the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fordham University in New York City. She received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Modern & Contemporary US and British literature. Her current position gives her authority over the school with supervision of administration. She is also Associate Professor for the Department of English at Fordham. “San Francisco provides a unique opportunity that is deeply rooted in the city,” Pitchford said, “There’s something about California with the mixture of racial groups and landscape that brings me back here.” When speaking about the position, Pitchford, “would be most effective at the Dean level because I would be at the front line between students and faculty.” With USF at the edge of the Pacific Rim, Pitchford said, “we can connect students to the community whether it’s local or global.” She believes there are many opportunities in the curriculum for diversity studies. Students can expand their connections by bringing an international presence. “The curriculum itself should be ethically committed and intellectually curious.” On the topic of finances, Dr. Pitchford said USF has dealt with financial difficulties and “we also need to figure out a way to increase revenue, other than enrolling more students.” If given the position Dr. Pitchford would “create policies that are more transparent. Advocating for the faculty is advocating for the students.”
Dr. Michael McCann is currently serving his sixth year as Associate Dean at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his undergraduate education Dr. McCann was “very much a science geek.” Receiving his bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Joseph’s, Dr. McCann said, “I am passionate about Jesuit education and offer a commitment and understanding of liberal education. I am able to work as an effective faculty member and administrator.” He has implemented many programs at St. Joseph’s including the Summer Scholars Program, offering students the opportunity to work alongside faculty members on research projects. His most proud accomplishment as St. Joseph’s is the Institute of Environmental Stewardship, a unit within the math and natural science department, and recently received a one million dollar grant from the Department of Energy. By combining education, research, and environmental stewardship, students understand the moral and ethical dimensions of the principles they are taught in the classroom. “I like the challenge of working with students, faculty, and administrators,” Dr. McCann said, “This position would mean broader responsibility and making difficult choices. From what I’ve seen here there is a strong sense of community and I would feel comfortable here.” Being in San Francisco, USF “can engage locally in social justice, which can be transformative.”
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