The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is conducting a national search for a new dean for College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS) to succeed Interim Dean Charles Zercher. Currently, the search committee that was chosen by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Wayne Jones is working closely with Greenwood/Asher & Associates, an executive search firm to develop a strong and diverse pool of applicants.  

“The search has been going really well,” Kevan Carpenter, the director of the CEPS Technical Service Center, said. “Currently, we have a very large qualified and diverse pool of candidates.” As the search for the new CEPS dean is fairly new, Carpenter stated that he does not know when the list of final applicants will be announced. However, he believes that the list should be finalized and be accessed by the public by the end of April.  

The narrowing down process of the candidates were made easier with the help of Greenwood/Asher & Associates.  

“Greenwood/Asher & Associates plays a big role because when finding applicants for a position as important as this, we need to make sure that we find the right one,” Carpenter said. “CEPS have a high standard and we make sure that we are moving forward as outlined by the president to align [CEPS] with the university’s strategic plan.” 

“This position is a big shoe to fill in,” Professor Erin Bell, the department chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said.  

Bell said that Zercher has left a big mark with his continuing effort in supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies – which is not only important for UNH but New Hampshire in general.  

“The position has seen a lot of changes and we are trying to achieve a more consistent leadership,” she said on the contrary.  

Bell discussed the importance of doing a confidential search.  

“Confidential search is very important as we want the best for the candidates and protect their current jobs,” Bell said. She also clarified that the search has been going for more than just the past few weeks.  

“The long process of choosing the right candidate is vital for this type of position,” she added. Applicants must go through multiple stages of interviews and detailed material reviews.  

In addition to that, UNH is making sure that everyone’s voice is heard.  

“We have very diverse representatives of different classes to help us make this decision,” Bell said. “Professors, staff and even undergraduate students bring their own unique perspective of CEPS and we are trying to be inclusive.”  

The name of the candidates will only be public after the on-campus interview with the applicant which Bell hopes to achieve after spring break.  

Zercher was appointed to the position as a result of Provost Jones moving from being the dean of CEPS to his current position in the provost’s office. The position was never considered to be permanent. Zercher will be continuing to work at UNH as a chemistry professor.