Vice President for Student Development Steve Bisese announced Monday that Joseph Boehman would succeed him as dean of Richmond College.
Boehman is currently the assistant director for residential education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will take over as dean beginning June 1, according to Bisese.
"I am very pleased with our decision," Bisese said. "Joe was overwhelmingly the people's favorite candidate based on the feedback I received."
Boehman visited the university for the first time from Jan. 21 through Jan. 23, spending the days in meetings and open discussions with different groups of the campus community. Bisese said he had received student, faculty and alumni feedback about Boehman and the other two final candidates since that visit until Friday afternoon, at which point he made his decision. He said he offered Boehman the position late Friday afternoon and it was announced to the rest of campus Monday afternoon.
The approachability Boehman displayed in his interviews and the high esteem the members of the RC dean's office had for him were the most important factors in the decision, Bisese said. He added that Boehman was excited about his move to Richmond and was eager to work in a smaller, closer academic environment.
"I thought the campus was great not only in the physical sense, but also through all the interactions I saw between students, faculty and staff," Boehman said.
Boehman said he would not assume the role of dean with a specific personal vision for the future of Richmond College but instead thought it was better to meet with students and faculty to find out their ideas and then incorporate them with his own. He said he wanted to talk with students and alumni about what it means to be a part of Richmond College and use that input to determine the direction he wants to go.
"I want to build on the energy that President [Edward] Ayers will be bringing in," he said. "I want to see what Richmond College is all about, what it can become and, with respect to tradition, I want to see where we can take it."
Boehman was selected from a group of three finalists that also included Michael Christakis, the assistant director of residential life at the University of Albany, and Elton Crim Jr., the interim dean of students and director of student advocacy and judicial affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Though he said he could not speak for the credentials of the other finalists, Boehman said he thought it was his experiences in all aspects of student life that made him a strong candidate.
"I have a great deal of experience with programs connecting what goes on inside the classroom with what goes on outside the classroom," Boehman said. He said his work with building, living and learning programs, teamwork-focused projects and his wide range of experience at large institutions like UNC and East Carolina University was what made him the best fit for the position.
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Boehman said he had not told most of his co-workers at UNC about his new position but that the faculty members he had told were very excited for him.
Bisese said he was looking forward to Richmond College being fully staffed again once Boehman takes office in June. Dan Fabian has been doing a great job as interim dean since the fall semester despite having an under-staffed office, he said.
Senior Clint Anderson, one of four students on the 13-person search committee in charge of finding candidates for the dean position, commended not only Boehman's past experiences, but also the personality he displayed when meeting with the students while on campus.
"He is quite personable and is able to relate well to students," Anderson said. "He values the honor system at [Richmond] and values personal integrity.
"It is impossible to 'replace' Dr. Bisese but I look forward to Dr. Boehman leaving his own mark on the university as a unique dean and a friend to the student body"
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