By Jada Butler
The search for a permanent dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences continues this year. Former Dean Katherine Hill-Miller stepped down from the position in 2015 and returned to her position as a professor in the English Department.
Chemistry Professor Nicholas Ramer was the acting dean from June 2015 to August 2016, while a search for a permanent replacement was conducted. However, Ramer stepped down from the position after the search failed.
This semester, LIU Global Dean Jeffrey Belnap has been named acting dean as the search for a permanent dean goes on.
The position of dean is usually chosen by a faculty committee that reviews candidates, and then recommends a suitable person to the administration; yet Belnap was chosen by the administration and named to the position last spring.
Belnap is a literary scholar and holds a doctorate in comparative literature. Belnap spent 10 years in Hawaii as the dean of the Global College campus, and 11 years in the UAE of Dubai and Abu Dhabi under the same position.
But Belnap is not a stranger to Post. After 20 years of being off the continental U.S., Belnap returned to the LIU Brooklyn campus three years ago and has worked on projects with Post, while managing the LIU Global offices on the Brooklyn campus.
The acting dean must make all the same major decisions as the regular dean. Previous dean, Katherine Hill-Miller shared with The Pioneer in March 2015 that “there are many responsibilities that come with being a dean [which] range from student difficulties to budgets to curriculum concerns.” The acting dean must work side by side with faculty members to maintain the proper functions of the departments within the College.
“I am delighted to work with a great faculty,” Belnap said. He deals with Post issues all day, every day, and is on campus three times a week, sometimes more.
He is used to managing complicated multi-campus organizations with the global academy, and is comfortable with the commute between Post and Brooklyn. “[I am] happy to stand in to help the college manage themselves,” he added.
The reason why Ramer stepped down from the acting dean position is unclear. Ramer has returned to the faculty in the chemistry department and is enjoying his time there. “Being back in the classroom and working with my students are the only plans I have for now and the future,” Ramer said.
The search for a permanent replacement for Hill-Miller, who served as dean for 13 years, continues. For now, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is in capable hands.