School of Public Affairs Dean William Leogrande and School of Communication Dean Larry Kirkman are stepping down from their positions at the end of the school year, according to announcements released by Provost Scott Bass this week.
In a memo sent to the AU community on Tuesday, Bass said Leogrande, who was appointed SPA dean in 2003, will take a brief sabbatical and return to AU as a faculty member in 2013.
Kirkman’s decision to step down as dean of SOC was announced just a day later, also in a University memo to faculty and staff sent by Provost Bass. Kirkman has been the Dean of SOC since 2001.
Leogrande and Kirkman are the fourth deans to step down in two years, after Kogod School of Business Dean Richard Durand and School of International Service Dean Louis Goodman left their posts this summer.
Leogrande said he will use his sabbatical to work on various academic projects such as writing a book on U.S.-Cuban relations and diplomatic efforts between the two countries.
He will also co-edit the third edition of the “A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution.”
The search process for a new SPA dean is still in its early stages. Leogrande said the University will hire an external search committee and the process will go on independent of him.
However, he is looking forward to seeing how his school will evolve under new leadership.
“SPA is really poised to expand its external reputation,” he said. “We’re bringing in better students and faculty every year, and this is a real opportunity for someone to come in and lead that change.”
Kirkman will also take a brief sabbatical before coming back to teach at AU. He will return to the SOC faculty in 2014 in the Film and Media Arts division.
The dean said he looks forward to recruiting a new leader who will improve and expand SOC.
“This position is an exceptional opportunity that will attract experienced, visionary candidates who can enhance the school’s leadership role in communication education, professional practice and scholarship and guide us to a new level of achievement,” he said.
Kirkman feels his successor will be joining SOC at an important time in the school’s history.
“My successor will join a school with the critical elements in place for the next stage in our evolution: a strong faculty and staff, … new graduate programs, an engaged alumni base, … leading centers for professional innovation and research … and major media partnerships,” he said.
The new SOC dean will also head the school’s move into the McKinley building in 2014.
Kirkman said plans for the renovation of McKinley have been submitted to the D.C. government and construction is expected to begin in early 2012.