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Puto, Gleason to remain in leadership

By , Director  |  Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:28 PM

While the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling welcomes a new dean, it may take up to a year to find new leaders for the Opus College of Business and International Education Center.

Doug Hennes, vice president of university and government relations, said Tuesday that a search failed to find “a strong enough pool of candidates” for either the business school dean or International Education Center director positions.

Instead of appointing an interim business dean, Hennes said the university asked Christopher Puto, who has served as Opus’ dean since 2002, to remain in the position for another academic year.

Opus College of Business Dean Chris Puto who will be staying on for another academic year after announcing his retirement in February 2012. Bruce Gleason, International Education Center interim director, will also be holding his position for another year. Photo courtesy of St. ThomasSchulze Hall.

Opus College of Business Dean Christopher Puto stands in Schulze Hall will remain in the position for another academic year after announcing his retirement in February 2012. Bruce Gleason, International Education Center interim director, will also be holding his position for another year. (Photo courtesy of St. Thomas)

“There’s a lot of open business school dean’s positions around the country and so we decided we didn’t have the right person for the job and that we would need continue the search through the 2013-2014 school year. So then the choice becomes again, do you appoint a new interim dean, or do you ask the sitting dean, Chris Puto, to stay on for another year.”

Puto announced that he would step down as business dean in February 2012, but because nationwide replacement searches can often take up to a year, the university asked him to remain in the position for the 2012-2013 academic year. With the search to replace him spanning into yet another school year, Puto said he is anything but frustrated.

“When they asked me to stay (the first time) I was quite pleased to do that. The second time around I was equally as pleased because … we are moving Opus forward,” Puto said, referencing the school’s 26-spot leap to 80th in the nation in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2013 business college rankings list released in March.

Hennes said he expects the business dean search to last the whole 2013-2014 school year and that the university would be able to name Puto’s replacement by next summer.

Once a new Opus dean is selected, Puto said he hopes to return to the classroom as a professor and is “eager” to support president-elect Julie Sullivan in any way he can.

“I very much love students and I love teaching,” Puto said. “When you’re a dean, you don’t have a lot of time in the classroom.”

Bruce Gleason, a tenured faculty member in the music department, was named the International Education Center’s interim dean in September 2012 and will also stay on as the search to find his replacement is restarted.

“It’s hard to tell how long that will take, but it could take through the fall semester into the winter or spring,” Hennes said.

Gleason said he looks forward to continuing his work with the IEC.

“I’m pleased to be continuing in my capacity as interim director and look forward to seeing where Dr. Sullivan’s administrative ideas influence UST’s global climate,” he said.

CELC’s new dean hails from University of New Mexico

August 10 will mark University of New Mexico program director and professor Mark Salisbury’s first day as St. Thomas’ CELC dean.

Salisbury, an Oregon native, replaces interim dean David Rigoni, who took over after former CELC dean Bruce Kramer’s Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis made him unable to continue in the position last fall.

Salisbury earned his Bachelor of Science from the Oregon College of Education in 1978, his Master of Arts in Teaching and economics from Western Oregon State College in 1982, and his Master of Science in Computer and Information Science and 1986, Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon in 1985.

After his education, Salisbury worked 11 years as a computer scientist at the Boeing Company in Seattle and began educating at the University of New Mexico in 1996.

Hennes: Faculty turnover “a little unusual”

While Hennes called this year’s faculty and administrator turnover rate- a rate that has included multiple deans, the university’s president and two administrators, “a little unusual,” he said the diverse situations surrounding the absences are important to understand.

“The circumstances with all three deans are all different. While ideally you wouldn’t want to be doing several searches simultaneously or consecutively … in our situation, that’s simply what happened and we have to deal with it,” Hennes said.

The searches for dean also came in a transition year for St. Thomas’ president, chief academic officer and executive vice president and chief operating officer, a heap of years and loyalty to St. Thomas among the three that Hennes said speaks to the university’s stability.

“We still have very strong leadership here. We really do. We have deans, vice presidents, department directors that have been in positions for a very long time that will provide the kind of continuity that will be helpful for Dr. Sullivan as she begins her role as president.”

Amid all the change, Hennes said patience will be key for the university heading into the searches.

“As we go through these searches, we just have to be patient. Yes they are coming … within a certain time frame, but I think we have a good process to choose new people.”

Briggs LeSavage can be reached at lesa4364@stthomas.edu.

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