Dr. Sikata Banerjee, one of four final candidates for the soon-to-be vacant Dean of the College of Letters & Science position, visited campus yesterday morning. The outgoing dean is Paula Lutz.
Approximately 30 attendees listened as Banerjee outlined her vision for the college, stating that three of her main focuses are research, teaching and community engagement. She is currently the Associate Dean of Humanities at the University of Victoria in Canada and earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Washington.
Banerjee acknowledged MSU’s continued growth by expressing her excitement about the possibility of dealing with problems associated with development rather than with budget cuts.
Last Thursday, Dr. James Payne, another candidate, made a similar appearance in the Procrastinator Theatre. Payne is the Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Research at the University of South Florida Polytechnic. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economics and Finance.
Payne said his interest in the deanship stems from MSU’s distinction in research and teaching. “It is very rare to find a land grant university that excels in both research and outreach to the community, as well as provides close faculty-student interaction at the undergraduate level,” he stated.
The final two dean candidates will speak in the Procrastinator Theatre over the next two weeks. Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney will visit on Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. and Dr. Nicol Rae will visit on Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m.