Since the end of the spring semester, the political science department has experienced a gap in its faculty, left by former professor William Felice.
Felice’s now vacant position in the department was more than a professor of political science. He was a key member of the Major in International Relations and Global Affairs. Felice has specialized in the areas of international human rights, global environmental sustainability and international political economy, among others.
“We realize there is no replacement for Professor Felice, he is one of a kind,” said political science professor Mary Meyer-McAleese.
Meyer-McAleese leads the search for a new professor to fill Felice’s old role.
“We are looking for a junior person,” said Meyer-McAleese. “We are looking for a young graduate whippersnapper with his doctorate.”
The deadline to apply for the position was October 8. From there, the search process continues as normal for the hiring of new tenure-track professors with the appointed committee.
This search committee will start by choosing the three most qualified candidates. With the approval of Faculty Dean Suzan Harrison, applicants will undergo two days of interviews and events. There will be at least one educational demonstration that students can attend. They will then meet key people from the administration, the library, the international education office and more during these two days.
This gives the research committee time to seek input from others in administration and the student body. The committee will then vote on the best candidate and recommend it to Dean Harrison.
“There is pressure for (the research) to be done early so that we can get the best applicants before another school pulls them off the market,” Meyer-McAleese said.
The candidacy for Felice’s post was created last February and opened in July. To search earlier, the application deadline of October 8 is earlier than the traditional deadline of December 15.
“We hope that, if we’re lucky, we’ll be done before Thanksgiving,” Meyer-McAleese said.
This is not the only search for new teachers. According to Meyer-McAleese, more research is currently underway in the Behavioral Science Collegium.
“Behavioral Science Collegiate President Diana Fuguitt will be very busy with all of these candidates,” said Meyer-McAleese. “It’s also going to complicate the timeline for everyone in behavioral science because we all have similar timelines. “
The new political science professor’s research focuses not only on the qualifications, but also on how they will fit into the Eckerd College community.
Seth Hodges was a political science graduate, 2020 graduate, and Felice’s former mentee.
“He was one of the main reasons I did political science,” Hodges said. “I took one of his international relations courses in my first year and it really pushed me towards what I wanted to specialize in.”
For four years, Felice mentored Hodges pushing him to learn new things and try to study abroad. Hodges believed it was Felice’s approach to classroom dialogue that separated him from the other teachers.
“He would listen to anyone, even if he didn’t agree with your idea, he would let you finish it and he would discuss with you what he believed,” Hodges said.
With Felice’s retirement, Hodges hopes for a professor who can be a good mentor for the students.
“I would like someone who has the same knowledge as him,” Hodges said. “Someone who is also willing to listen to their students and let them try to figure it out for themselves while pushing them in the right direction. “
Political science professor Anthony Brunello was a close friend and colleague of Felice before his retirement.
“Professor Felice was probably one of the most important faculty members on our university campus, not to mention our discipline in international relations and world affairs and political science,” Brunello said.
Brunello and the political science discipline worried about the rise of animal studies if the department managed to retain Felice’s former position.
“We were delighted that the school supported us to keep the post alive,” Brunello said.
In the research, Brunello said there was no replacement for Professor Felice.
“We’ll find a way, hopefully, to find someone who can light up your imagination as well as Professor Felice did,” Brunello said.
Felice created the annual United Nations Winter Session Travel and Saving Democracy lecture series throughout the past year, among many other courses and events throughout his career.
“We have lost someone who is a moral philosopher,” Brunello said. “We’ve opened the fan wide and we’re going to see what kind of great person we can hire. “
Until a “new Felice” is found, the search for the right faculty member continues.
“As I go into this research, I know that if I invest too much in what I hope to find out there, I might make it difficult,” Brunello said. “You have to let people be people. “