Kalk speaks about his experiences at Southern
Jacob Waring – News Editor
What makes Bruce Kalk stand out amongst the quartet of candidates for the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is that he is the only candidate from Southern.
Kalk has been part of Southern in some capacity since 1992. He started out as an assistant professor of history to being the current interim of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
He said as the interim dean, he is in the process of interviewing people for twelve tenure track positions in Arts and Sciences, each of which will have three candidates or more.
He said he spends a good chunk of his time vetting people to ensure they are a right fit and tell them about the Southern community.
“I tell them about our students and tell them about what it’s like to work at Southern and live in New Haven,” Kalk said, “We also talk about what students need to thrive.”
He said if a candidate does not react with enthusiasm about Southern, then they know they most likely are not a right fit for the university.
The key, he said to attracting good teachers to Southern is by hiring the right people to begin with.
“If they’re not excited about the vision of social justice they don’t belong here,” Kalk said. “They’re not excited about working with students of modest means. They don’t belong here.”
Political science and philosophy major, Asma Rahimyar, a junior, was one of the representatives attending the forum. She told an anecdote involving how if it was not for Kalk, she said she would not have been able to attend the United Nations’ conference on cultural diplomacy which was beyond her means financially and logistically. Rahimyar said her adviser told her to Kalk and others about the opportunity. She said he was receptive and ultimately funded the trip.
“I think highly of him because he took the time to get to know me one on one.” Rahimyar said, “Even if he doesn’t remember who I am now, I’ll always remember who he is because he was able to facilitate an opportunity that I’m very grateful for.”
Kalk said that due to not having a finite amount of money, and opportunities would need to have a “wow” factor to add a substantial experience for students.
His goal he said was to always try to provide Southern students with a chance to have opportunities occur.
“Our students need us because Southern is an engine of economic opportunity for students of modest means,” Kalk said, “That makes me very proud.”
Margaret Generali, chairperson of the search committee and chairperson of the department of counseling and school psychology, said she was impressed with Kalk and the other candidates in their respective forums.
“They all come from different places with different experience. They were all very enthusiastic,” she said.
To wrap it up, Kalk succinctly summed up his future goal at Southern.
“My goal is to be the permanent dean, to remove the adjective [interim] in front of my title,” he said “Continue to do the very best I can do to students, faculty and staff.”