NSAS division finishes semester without dean


Xavier Johnson / The Advocate

Child development major Carmen Dorton works on homework for Math 120 as math professor Clifford Stewart tutors her in the Math Lab in the Applied Arts Building on Monday.

By Xavier Johnson, Web Editor

With half of the semester having come and gone, and many vacancies being filled, there remains a vacant position in the Natural, Social and Applied Sciences (NSAS) Division.

From the beginning of this academic year, the division has been without a dean since the departure of Dr. Ghada Al-Masri, who took a job at Ohlone College as dean of social sciences weeks before the fall 2018 semester began.

The jobs have been posted on the employment opportunities section of the district website 4cd.edu.

Senior Dean of Enrollment Tish Young said the hiring process should be completed by the first week of May.

Following Al-Masri’s departure, division duties were dispersed among the deans remaining on campus. Liberal Arts Division Dean Jason Berner has taken on the duties of managing social sciences and mathematics. Young is overseeing the biology, astronomy and chemistry

departments. Workforce and Development Dean Kelly Schelin is overseeing the business information and computer technology department.

The decision was made with the plan to fill the position within a year.

Prior to the start of the spring semester there were hopes to have the position filled by the middle of the term, however, the delay in hiring vice presidents halted the process.

“(Katrina) VanderWoude decided instead of bringing in somebody who needed a lot of training, we could spread out the workload and keep things running as usual,” Young said, “Even if you bring in a faculty member from the inside (as an interim), it’s a totally different role with lots of training.”

Young said the timeline is set with the expectation to have a new dean by the start of the next academic year on July 1.

She also said the goal is to have all three dean positions filled by July 1.

The position of senior dean of enrollment was left vacant after Andre Singleton resigned on Feb. 12. The Library, Allied Health, Vocational Education and Athletics (LAVA) Division position was filled by interim dean Lucile Beatty after Dr. Susan Lee retired in 2017.

Math department Chairperson Terrill Mead said the adjustment wasn’t easy and the lack of a dedicated dean caused some fractures in communication — specifically during the early stages of the hiring process for new math department faculty.

“We’re going to be a little late in our hiring process. Not because anyone did anything wrong, but because we aren’t organized because we don’t have a dean,” Mead said.

Mead said he doesn’t try to contact Berner with a lot of issues because he understands the dean is tasked with managing a department he is not familiar with.

Math professor Sherry Sharufa said the lack of communication in division meetings is frustrating, but more so affects department chairpersons. While filling in, Berner is acting as an administrative contact working with department chairs to develop schedules and resolve conflicts. With

the added workload of managing another division, Berner said it’s not unmanageable.

“The work isn’t any different from what I’ve been doing. It’s just more of it. It’s more, but it’s not any more complicated than my job was before,” Berner said.

Administrative assistant Maritza Guerrero is also assisting with managing the division by spending more time in the office and being available to students and faculty.