Friday, January 07, 2005

Searching for a new Dean

Yesterday and today the school has heard presentations from prospective candidates for the position of Dean. I have been very impressed with the open system of selection that the school is using to parse the individuals. After their presentation for faculty, staff and students, the candidates have a luncheon where they can meet and discuss issues directly with students.

I'll admit at the onset: I am bias. One of the candidates taught us Property Law (Doctrine of Estates) last semester. My impression (and only my opinion): extremely approachable & student-friendly, organized, great sense of humour, and a clear communicator.

The candidate we met today also seems well qualified. A comment that stood out was regarding tuition levels. She said that she likes the new Harvard model: any student whose family's combined income is less that $40k should not have to pay tuition. OK, but does that mean that she wants the rest of Queen’s students to pay Harvard-level tuition payments? Given her other comments, I would guess that she would answer 'no'. She described rising tuition levels across Canada as the "Toronto Syndrome" (UofT is raising their tuition as much as they can each year with the goal of $25k/ year, and other universities are following suit). And she has 4 children who have yet to start university. I imagine, both personally and professionally, she would want to keep tuition levels low.

It'll be interesting to meet the candidate behind door #3. ;)


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