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Office of the President

Search Process

TO:                GSEP Faculty and Administrative Colleagues

FROM:           Andrew K. Benton

DATE:            January 8, 2014

SUBJECT:      Dean Search Process

I would like to advise you of the status of the upcoming search for a new dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. We have engaged a national leader in executive searches, CarterBaldwin based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founding partner Price Harding has been assigned to manage this particular search.

A position description is being prepared, advertisements are being published, and applications and nominations will be received by the firm on our behalf. We hope to conclude this search by the summer of 2014, with the appointment beginning Fall 2014 term. The administrative details are proceeding nicely and the very important work of the Search Committee is about to begin.

Vice provost Lee Kats has graciously agreed to serve as chair of the Search Committee.

Other members include:

Thema Bryant-Davis, Associate Professor of Psychology
Reyna Garcia-Ramos, Professor of Education
Keith Hinkle, Sr. Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs
Martine Jago, Associate Dean and Professor of Education
Vanessa Jahn, Manager of Events and Marketing, GSEP
Ed Shafranske, Professor of Psychology

Senior Staff Support:
Marnie Duke Mitze, Associate Vice President, Chief of Staff

I am deeply grateful for each member's willingness to serve. We anticipate a kick-off meeting of the Search Committee by early February where we will review process including plans for the larger GSEP community to meet the finalists and share their observations with the Search Committee. Finally, I will be responsible for this University decision, but I hope to have the advice and counsel of many throughout the process and especially the seven-person Search Committee.

I am confident that this search will attract many fine candidates. We will treat each with the confidentiality and respect that each one of us would want; therefore, while we will provide periodic updates, we may not be free to share every element of the search along the way. Please know that we grasp the significance of this selection and intend to make a good decision for the whole of Pepperdine University.

Finally, while I intend to rely heavily on the Search Committee and its leadership in pursuit of finalists, we will establish a vehicle for all to communicate views, hopes, and aspirations for the next dean. I hope many voices will be heard.

Within the next few days we will launch a Dean Search website at and will update it as new information is available. On that website we will include the position specification, as well as the e-mail address to which nominations can be sent:

Thanks for your support and, indeed, your prayers as we conduct this important search.