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Michele Moore was named the interim dean of the School of Communications on July 1, replacing whom President John Lahey referred to as “accidental dean” David Donnelly. Moore’s tenure as interim dean will last for the entirety of the 2009-2010 academic year.
In an interview with The Chronicle on Sept. 10, President John Lahey addressed the departure of Donnelly, debunking rumors that Donnelly was on sabbatical.
“In David’s case, it was really a change of leadership that our leaders in the academic area felt was in the best interests of the School of Communications,” Lahey said.
All full-time faculty members of the School of Communications were informed of the decision, but not all part-time faculty members were aware of the change, resulting in confusion over the circumstances as to why an interim dean was named.
“David was a somewhat accidental dean in the sense that we didn’t do a search for a dean of the School of Communications and select David,” Lahey said. “He was hired by the previous dean as an assistant dean and.as far as I know did a satisfactory job for a number of years, but I think the decision was made last year that it would make sense to do a national search for a new dean and to make a change in that position.”
According to Lahey, a committee has already been assembled in order to search for a permanent dean who would assume the position starting in the 2010-2011 academic year. According to Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan, the committee members include associate professors Edward Alwood, Lisa Burns and Alex Havalais, professor Kathy Fitzpatrick, Dean of the School of Business Matthew O’Connor, and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Carol Boucher.
“We believe we have a great School of Communications, it’s got a national reputation in many cases and we think we can attract a top-notch dean for that program,” Lahey said. “Particularly, we’ll look to people who have spent more of their time in the field of communications.as opposed to maybe a more traditional, academic Ph.D., and I think David was a little more in that mode.”
Before assuming her role as interim dean, Moore was the associate dean of communications, a position which she had held since the fall semester of 2005. She noted the responsibility her new assignment brings, specifically that her tasks now reach beyond the boundaries of the School of Communications.
“I think it’s a more expansive role that provides many different opportunities that I didn’t have time to cover before,” she said. “I now work with Academic Affairs by meeting with the deans of every department.”