SSHS in Search of New Dean, Rosenberg to Step Down

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The College is in the process of searching for a new dean for the School of Social Science and Human Services after current dean Samuel Rosenberg announced his plans to step down after eight years.

"At this point I want to pursue my research," Rosenberg said. "I have a book contract, third edition of my book, and I'm working on another research project. After eight years I've decided that it was time to go."

In Rosenberg’s time as dean, SSHS has undergone many changes, and the person who is hired as his successor will be expected to fill the same intensive role.

"While I was dean we started two masters degree programs in education, one in educational leadership and one in special ed. They’re both in place, they’re both running, they’re both great," Rosenberg said. "The new dean would have to have the ability to develop new programs …  you have to do scheduling, you have to create curriculum, you have to create staffing, you have to get approvals from the state of New Jersey … You need someone who’s capable of doing all of that."

The process of hiring a new dean involves a thorough search and careful review of potential candidates.

"Similar to all searches at Ramapo College, a representative search committee is appointed to review applications for the position and to recommend compelling candidates," said Stephen Hudik, assistant vice president of communications and public relations, in an email.

According to Hudik, about eight to 12 of the best applicants receive a phone interview with members of the committee. The candidate pool is then narrowed down to the three most promising applicants, who are then invited to an interview on campus.

"Feedback is gathered from the campus interviews," Hudik said. "The committee submits the three applicants, unranked, but with pros and cons, to the hiring manager. The manager selects the best applicant, and a job offer is made."

This year, the committee's search has produced two top candidates from the Ramapo community: Aaron Lorenz, associate professor of law and society, and Michael Edelstein, a professor and the director of the Institute of Environmental Studies. Lorenz has been a member of the Ramapo community since 2007, and Edelstein has been a member since 1974.

This Tuesday, these two candidates spoke in the Alumni Lounges to spell out their plans for SSHS should they be hired as dean. These speeches, along with the candidates' other interviews and qualifications, will be considered by Provost Beth Barnett and the committee before the final selection is made.

"They’re looking for a dean who’s going to be able to get the school ready for the Middle States review, which is coming up in five years," said Rosenberg. "It’s in five years, but you have to start preparing way in advance in terms of all of the documentation. So it’s someone who can continue the administrative process; someone who can prepare the school for positive result with the accreditation, and also a dean who’s going to be able to implement strategic plan that was just passed that was approved by the Board of Trustees."

Some initiatives in the strategic plan that fall directly under SSHS include increasing study abroad opportunities for students, the recruitment of a more diverse student and faculty population and the maintenance and improvement of academic excellence.

While the search for dean begins internally, with already established members of the Ramapo community applying and being considered, if neither applicant proves to be a “compelling candidate” the search will expand its reach outside the school in order to find the absolute best person for the job.

As Dean Rosenberg said in a message that can be read on the SSHS home page, "In all the areas of evaluation  –  teaching, scholarship and community service – the School of Social Science and Human Services is furthering the mission of the College."

Continuing this legacy of excellence, service and progress will be the future dean's greatest responsibility.