Edit: By demand, Dougie B’s message:
Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college, has let me know that she will not continue at Wesleyan past her current contract, which expires at the end of June 2007. At the invitation of a United Nations office and Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Peru, Maria will lead a study on aging and income security in Peru. While leading this study in 2007-08, Maria will be a Fulbright Scholar at Universidad del Pacifico’s Research Center. In 2008-09, Maria will resume teaching as professor of economics at Connecticut College. My response when I heard the news was that as a former economic development person, I could only celebrate Maria’s mission.
There will be other opportunities, but I want to start by thanking Maria for her extraordinary leadership as Wesleyan’s dean. Under her tenure, we created the Office for Diversity and Academic Advancement, enhanced First Year Matters through collaborations with the Center for the Arts and the Office of Academic Affairs, introduced a new peer advising program, integrated orientation for new and international students and created opportunities for rich educational experiences outside the classroom. We have established a task force that is articulating a vision for religious and spiritual life on campus, are preparing the opening of the Usdan University Center, and better align student affairs with our educational mission. The dean’s office has grown in strength and has the capacity to handle a leadership transition.
My intention is to appoint an acting dean for a year, allowing time for my successor to develop a sense of what the dean’s office requires and to organize a search for a permanent replacement. I believe the acting dean should be a current faculty member or staff person who is familiar with the institution and able to provide leadership for a strong, ongoing enterprise. I will welcome nominations and volunteers, and will consult broadly with faculty, students, and staff as I review faculty and staff lists for candidates.