All Articles Tagged "dean"
By Charlotte Young
Class may be in session in two weeks for Columbia University’s undergraduates, but the dean of the undergraduate division has stepped out. The New York Times reports that Michele M. Moody-Adams abruptly resigned from her role because of “administrative changes that would diminish or eliminate her authority.”
Moody-Adams, the first female and the first black dean over Columbia College, took on the dean position in 2009 after previously serving as the vice provost at Cornell University. When she was hired, Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University believed that she would be a “key voice” in helping the college play a more central role in the school’s faculty of arts and sciences.
But on Monday, he said in a statement that her immediate resignation was “in the best interest of the college and the university.” An interim dean is expected to be named soon. Although Dr. Moody-Adams had expressed her concern at ongoing changes to the administrative structure of the faculty of arts and sciences that she felt would limit her authority on policy and financial issues, an email sent Saturday to alumni and donors of the university suggested that she intended to stay until the end of the academic year.
Sharyn O’Halloran, chairman of the executive committee of the University Senate, tells the New York Tomes that she is “saddened” to see the dean go, as she was critical in discussions on ways to increase the faculty’s input in admissions and curriculum decisions.
“She was brought in from the outside to bring energy into the whole environment,” she said.
But the New York Times reports that many feel indifferently. According to the report, professors and staff members have said that she did not seem to work closely with administrators or possess support from most of the faculty.
Claire Sabel, a junior at Columbia University and the editor of the undergraduate news blog, Bwog, says that Dr. Moody-Adams “didn’t have a lot of enemies but she also didn’t have a lot of champions.” Sabel says she put in nothing beyond the regular appearances and had not been on campus long enough for students to feel attached.
In addition to her past position as the dean, Dr. Moody-Adams also holds a tenured position in the philosophy department at Columbia University and suggested in the email on Saturday that she will remain at the University.
Dr. Moody-Adams is the second high level African American administrator to leave Columbia University in three months. The university’s former provost, Claude M. Steele, left in June to take on a position as the dean of Stanford University’s School of Education.