Final candidate for Harris College dean presents her reasons to stay

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Dr. Susan Mace Weeks spoke at an open forum Thursday to emphasize the importance of a dean’s role in college collaboration.

Weeks was selected as a candidate for the position of dean of the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The other candidates are Dr. J. Dirk Nelson from West Texas A&M University and Dr. Kathleen Bradshaw LaSala from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Paulette Burns, the previous dean of Harris College, died from pancreatic cancer in December. Weeks became the temporary acting dean when Burns was diagnosed in 2013.

As professor and dean, Weeks said she has the advantage of familiarity with the Harris College community.

“My experience as the acting dean of Harris College has allowed me a glimpse into the ways a dean can make a meaningful difference for others,” Weeks said.

A dean has an important role to be knowledgeable in each area of the college, said Weeks.

“Collaborating with each of the different areas of a college is necessary for success,” Weeks said. “It is important to communicate within Harris College in order to achieve goals and understand needs for funding and resources.”

Weeks said she also wants the Harris College community to recognize accomplishments of its faculty and students.

“I believe that we have an amazing faculty and excellent students with a desire to learn,” Weeks said. “If we realize the change that we make on each other, it will create a positive impact on our environment.”

Weeks said she would be honored to continue to serve as dean of the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The decision is expected to be made by the end of this month, said Dr. Joel Mitchell, chairman of the dean search committee for the Harris College.