“When we get a new dean, there is often an opportunity for a new program to develop, or making positive changes,” McNamee said. “I expect to see new things be emphasized and new opportunities to be created.”
While excited for the move forward, McNamee notes the tenure of Dean Sorensen will be a tough act to follow.
“At 31 years, which I believe is the longest serving dean in the country, it’s been a remarkable run for any individual to have been that successful for so long,” McNamee said. “He’s provided a great service, he’s well respected, and he’s known all over the world for his leadership in business schools. His retirement is well earned.”
While Sorensen, who will be turning 70 this February, has been a prominent figure among business schools nationwide, he believes he’s leaving Pamplin in good shape for the years ahead.
“We’ve been fortunate as far as attracting strong students to the college, providing a quality education, and getting them a good job,” Sorensen said. “I feel very good about that.”
The announcement of the final three candidates comes after a search committee has been reviewing a comprehensive list of candidates for the past semester.
The committee represents a diverse group affected by the business school.
“We have a number of participants outside the college, including one of the other college deans, the vice president, a chair from the external advisory board, and the head of the corporate research center, because the business school works so closely with corporate interests," McNamee said. "We (wanted) very different perspectives on the search committee.”
The committee has also relied on help from outside the university.
“We are working with an external search firm, because for searches like this, it’s really helpful to have a third party,” McNamee said. “In many cases, some (candidates) already have very good positions, and they don’t want to become public too soon. So (the external search firm) can do a lot of background checking for us.”
According to McNamee the choice of the top three candidates was a difficult one, and that there have been a lot of high-caliber candidates.
“We’ve been very impressed with everyone we’ve talked to.” McNamee said.