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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Stat department begins search for new department head

The Department of Statistics has begun an international search for a new department head to replace James Calvin, who stepped down earlier this year to take another job within the University. Calvin resigned from the position he had held since 1998 to take the job of executive associate vice president for research at Texas A&M.
Michael T. Longnecker, former associate department head, is now serving as interim department head until the international search for a replacement is completed.
A&M’s Department of Statistics will probably not suffer any drastic changes in naming a new department head, said H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Sciences.
“I am confident that Dr. Longnecker will continue to manage the department effectively,” Newton said.
Longnecker has served as associate head of the department and interacted with students in the department and consulted with Calvin, Newton said.
Elaine Reed, editorial assistant for the statistics department, said she welcomes the chance for the department to receive more international attention.
“I think that the international search will bring publicity to the department,” she said.
Longnecker said a small search party was formed through Newton’s appointment and by faculty vote.
The committee will put announcements recruiting for the position in statistics journals and send memos to other statistics departments around the world.
After a few months of searching, the committee will invite candidates in for interviews and recommend their choices to the dean, who will make the final decision, Longnecker said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to advertise the fact that our department is growing,” said senior lecturer Julie Hagen Carroll.
James Matis, a professor in the statistics department and head of the search committee, said the department head position is more attractive to international candidates.
“It’ll be great to have someone with that vision of growth since we are a highly ranked growing department,” Matis said.
Matis said he anticipates that someone prominent could apply for the position.
“The new head of the department could be a part of shaping the direction of the department and helping A&M achieve higher status internationally,” Matis said.

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