I write to correct and clarify a couple of statements in Mike Jacobs' Tuesday, April 17, column in the Herald.

The correction relates to the search for a new dean for the College of Business and Public Administration. Mike inaccurately characterized the search process. The reality is that there has been one search for the dean, and that search has yielded three highly qualified candidates who have visited campus. Provost Tom DiLorenzo tells me he has heard many positive comments about all three candidates. He praised the search committee for their work and said he is looking forward to a successful conclusion to the search within the next two weeks. He also praised Steve Light for his work as interim dean.

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I also want to clarify the sentence in Mike's column related to Kathryn Rand, dean of the School of Law. Although Kathryn has announced her intention to return to the faculty later on this year, she is still dean and will stay on through Aug. 1 or into the fall if necessary.

Kathryn, one of the longest serving law deans in the nation, told me earlier this year and recently reiterated to me that her decision to return to the faculty was solely based on her personal preference to return to teaching. Most administrators come from the ranks of the faculty, who almost always begin their careers because of their passion for teaching.

Finally, there is no need to correct or clarify any comments related to Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the College of Engineering and Mines, but I'll take the opportunity to say how much I admire the extraordinary work Hesham and the team at the College of Engineering and Mines have done in the past 10 years to turn a very good engineering college into a great one that is doing work that greatly benefits North Dakota, particularly in areas related to energy.

It is a natural progression for deans to apply for the position of provost. I'd rather Hesham stay here where he continues to do such great work. But if he is successful in his bid to be a provost elsewhere, I will wish him well and thank him for his many excellent contributions to the University of North Dakota.

Peter Johnson

Interim vice president for University and Public Affairs