SESP assembles search committee to identify next dean, seeks community input


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Annenberg Hall, which houses SESP. The search committee will work to gather community input during its decision-making process.

Joanna Hou, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern announced the formation of a search committee to choose the next School of Education and Social Policy dean Monday. 

The 12-member committee will include current students, alumni, faculty and staff, who will identify a slate of suitable candidates. Provost Kathleen Hagerty will oversee the committee, which will also include Executive Assistant Lorraine Cassis, Associate Provost for Strategy and Policy Roma Khanna and Director for Strategy and Policy Mearah Quinn-Brauner.

“The committee will begin its work immediately and will engage the SESP community to obtain input on the desired attributes and experience of the dean, understand the community’s needs and collect nominations of potential candidates for the role,” a University news release said. 

Members of the broader NU community can submit input and nominations to the committee through a dean search email. 

The committee will also receive assistance from WittKieffer, a global executive search firm that appoints candidates to a variety of fields including healthcare, life sciences and education.

“WittKieffer understands the critical role that institutions across the global education landscape play in transforming the world around us,” its website reads. “For us, a successful education search is about much more than filling a role — it’s about bringing transformational leadership to mission-driven institutions around the world.” 

SESP Prof. Emma Adam will chair the committee. Adam is a developmental psychologist with a specialization in child, adolescent and young adult well-being. 

The search for a new dean follows current SESP Dean David Figlio’s announcement of his departure. Figlio, who assumed his position in 2017, will depart NU on May 15 to serve as provost of the University of Rochester. 

Dan McAdams, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology and a professor of human development and social policy, will act as interim dean until the appointment of the next dean.

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