By Barry Hertz
With July deadlines looming, Ryerson faculties are looking to fill chair, director, and dean positions.
Yet some departments are merely limiting their search to current faculty, rather than pursuing a wider external talent pool. Though hiring policies vary throughout departments, educators and corporate strategists agree institutions such as Ryerson should strive to bring in the best talent available.
“A purely academic person isn’t going to have the necessary certain abilities a dean or chair needs, with contacts to the community and such. This is where an external search is better,” said Lynda Ducharme, an executive search specialist with the Ducharme Group Inc.
Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse has a similar philosophy. “As a general statement I agree we should always go externally to find the best possible person on a search,” said Lajeunesse.
So far, the school of economics has decided to search internally, the History and theatre departments are still deciding, and two other programs have yet to post openings on the school’s human resources website. While many faculties do concurrent external and internal searches for positions, Michael Dewson, vice provost of faculty affairs said there are valid reasons for restricting searches to already established members of the Ryerson community.
“Assuming the best person is from the outside isn’t always true,” said Dewson. “There needs to be someone who knows how to lead that program.”
But University of Toronto economics professor David K. Foot said the choice may have to do with increased costs incurred by hiring someone without Ryerson tenure. “If you go outside, it usually involves an expenditure of more money. It involves giving tenure to someone else, therefore increasing the cost,” he said, adding if Ryerson hires an associate professor or someone else internal, Ryerson actually saves money.
Still, Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design Ira Levine believes it is better to have the most inclusive search possible. “If an (internal applicant) is selected in the external process, that means they competed with the entire field and it’s all the better.”