An active member of the alumni network who wished to remain anonymous forwarded us the following email, purportedly sent by the Dean of Columbia College, explaining her resignation as of June 30, 2012. Dated yesterday, August 20th, the message has quickly spread by email, according to two active alumni tipsters.
Although it is addressed to “friends,” and has been passed to alumni, it is unclear who the original recipients of the message were. It is possible that the “friends,” were The original recipients of the email were Trustees, a select group of prominent alumni and members of the Board of Visitors.
Michele Moody-Adams has served as the Dean of Columbia College since February 2009. We have bolded the most important parts her strongly-worded email. Moody-Adams does not go into detail about the “planned changes,” that prompted her to step down, but promises these “structural transformations” have eliminated “the authority of the Dean of the College over crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters” and will “fundamentally alter decision-making in and for the College.”
We have reached out to all the appropriate channels of official communication for comment, but at the moment have not received confirmation of Moody-Adams resignation from any Columbia source besides alumni recipients of the e-mail.
It is with a very heavy heart that I send you this news. Columbia
University has begun plans to transform the administrative structure in Arts
and Sciences. The planned changes will have the effect of diminishing and
in some important instances eliminating the authority of the Dean of the
College over crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.
During my tenure as Dean, I have repeatedly voiced concern that changes of
this kind will ultimately compromise the College’s academic quality and
financial health. In my time here, I have quietly and respectfully sought
the counsel of many of you about how to have my voice heard. I believed
until very recently that, given the quality of my contributions to Columbia
and the success of many of my efforts here, my concerns might be taken
seriously. Just a very few days ago, it was made clear to me that the
structural transformations intended to fundamentally alter decision-making
in and for the College cannot be stopped.
Because I cannot in good conscience carry out a role that I believe to be
detrimental to the welfare of the College, I have submitted my resignation
as Dean of Columbia College, effective June 30, 2012. In my final year as
Dean, I will work towards a seamless transition and continue to adhere to
the values that I have promoted for 27 years in higher education: academic
excellence, professionalism at every level of the organization,
administrative transparency and fiscal responsibility. On July 1, 2012 I
will look forward to strengthening my connections to my tenure home in
Philosophy as the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal
I believe in offering my best as an administrator, educator and scholar and
in doing the right things by the constituents I serve. Columbia is
developing a structure that will no longer allow me to do that as Dean. I
nonetheless thank you for your support during my tenure as Dean.
Michele M. Moody-Adams