BREAKING: Moody-Adams’ Resignation Effective Immediately

Written by

Brian Connolly, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs from the Office of Communications, has released the following statement (emphasis ours) from President Bollinger regarding the resignation of Columbia College Dean Michele Moody-Adams. Bollinger writes that “under the circumstances,” Moody-Adams will step down immediately, rather than on June 30, 2012, as she proposes in her statement. Bollinger plans to choose an Interim Dean in the next few weeks.

I have accepted Dean Moody-Adams’s decision to resign as Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education. In her position as dean and vice president, we had looked forward to her playing a central role in shaping the academic administration of the College to ensure the finest educational experience for our students, and had hoped that she would be a key voice in the ongoing discussions involving faculty, alumni and administrators about how to position the College even more centrally in the life of Columbia’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Under the circumstances, it is in the best interests of the College and the University that she step down immediately so that we can have an Interim Dean in place at the beginning of the new academic year.

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  1. bjw

    This kind of reaction is completely beneath Columbia University, and merely demonstrates President Bollinger's obvious distance from and dissatisfaction with Columbia College's historical legacy of placing an emphasis on an undergraduate education in the sciences and liberal arts. To be unwilling to sanction criticism of the University's organization and policies smacks of an authoritarian streak not seen in Lowe since Nicholas Butler. Undergraduate students should immediately seek to find out the exact details of the plans for de-emphasizing the College within the University and why they were such an anathema to MMA. Students should have a say in how their education is managed, and the antics of the administration right now are an embarrassment to the institution and the members of our community

  2. Alumna

    See if I donate again anytime soon...

    • Anonymous

      you would deprive a low-income student of financial aid because a dean stepped down for reasons that we don't even know?

      • Anonymous

        I think she's stepping down because Bollinger is using all the financial aid funds for Manhattanville, appropriating alumni donations in ways they didn't agree to through some creative book-keeping. These are probably the "significant financial changes". Quigley was forced out because he gave the same sorts of resistance. Lee is a bit of a tyrant.

        • Anonymous

          wow i've never heard this argument before. how exactly do you know that bollinger is stealing from the financial aid funds? this is a serious accusation.

        • Alum

          Implausible. When Columbia accepts a conditional gift (the CC financial aid endowment is made up almost entirely of such gifts and investment returns on them), the conditions are legally binding. PrezBo can't just ignore them when he pleases. If he tried to, the donors or their heirs could demand their money back. Many would do just that. And the state attorney general would launch a criminal probe.

          PrezBo knows this is how it works. He wouldn't even consider what you describe. Unless you have evidence to back up your accusation, I can't take it seriously.

          • Anonymous  

            That's a good point. I wonder how many gifts are made for specific uses -- is there a way / place to look and find out? Also is there other money that used to be or would be allocated to financial aid that gets freed up by alumni donations to financial aid, so that the gift goes to financial aid but the money that used to be there gets to go to manhattanville, baker field, etc? (effectively making the gift go to expansion)

      • of course  

        shit rolls down hill

  3. this

    is horse shit. Something is very fishy here

  4. human smoke scree

    Bollinger is a dick. Stop crucifying CC.

  5. Anonymous

    PrezBo must be out of his goddamn mind

  6. rns

    I think it's about time that Columbia's students play a larger role in the more substantive problems that plague this university. I don't want to go so far as to say that the student body (especially government) has been preoccupied with frivolous matters, but there are more important things to discuss and get engaged in (this) than endless debates over Lerner space or inter-club arguments. This should be the year that the student body is fully incorporated into high level dialogues about the future of Columbia as an institution--and that we proactively demand to be heard. There's no reason we should just be passively inhaling this sort of news. I don't see any other cause to be more riled up about.

    • and

      while we're at it, can we be the first to emulate national protests by agitating against budget cuts and fiscal austerity? i'm only being half-facetious here.

    • bjw

      Amen. Leadership from CCSC on this issue should happen immediately, and they should keep student fully informed of the issues while providing ways for them to have input. CCSC needs to get back to being as involved in real issues that actually matter like when Seth Flaxman took on the issue of financial aid or Michael Novielli set up the Columbia College Association.

      • Anonymous

        Fuck that. You should be involved in this. Don't sit back and expect your government to represent you because it won't. You have a lot at stake here and should seek to ensures its well being through your own efforts rather than deferring to some make-believe higher authority. USE YOUR OWN POWER.

        • Anonymous  

          If you knew who bjw was, you would know that he will most assuredly not be sitting on his hands through this. CCSC is uniquely positioned to play an important role in facilitating a cohesive student response, though, which is what he was trying to point out.

          Also, history majors will note that this is not the first time a dean's [firing] has garnered a negative reaction, cf. MMA's predecessor in 1997.

  7. Anonymous

    you know why none of this matters? because i will continue to go to class for the next few years and get drunk on the weekends and not go to any sporting events and do whatever i want at columbia and have this affect me basically "NOT AT ALL"

  8. IDEA

    Anybody want to protest?

  9. CC '11

    Well looks like I bounced just in time

  10. CC 11

    Where can I find more information about her disagreement with Bollinger. What are these so-called "circumstances"?

  11. concerned

    First Claude Steele leaves now Moody Adams? Clearly, there's a fundamental problem with the way in which the administration is operating.

  12. Anon

    Moodygate! I've missed you, Bwog.

  13. Wellllll

    I guess Varsity Show has its theme for this year! Once again, the show writes itself. Awesome.

    On a slightly more serious note, this is a crazy decision by PrezBo. He believes some interim dean will be better than one more year of Moody Adams. It's not like she'll be a lame duck or anything...she'd still be able to do a good job transitioning, surely better than anyone else who is basically getting thrown into the role as the school-year begins.

  14. CC'14

    Does anyone have any clues as to what could be the difference? I didnt pay much attention to campus politics my first year but I'm curious if anyone has a clue what general direction the college and/or university is taking

  15. Mike Hunt

    well, i think that what we're seeing in both cases (the resignations of both moody-adams and steele) might be something like corporate culture's waterloo, at least in academia. several things needed to align for this to happen: darlings of corporate culture on the decline along with the tanking economy, and a "liberal" political culture at columbia that tends to see itself in opposition to the corporate culture of overpaid management consultants and financial engineers. despite the fluff that is promoted in some parts of academia, there is still enough institutional memory at columbia to recognize that management consulting and financial engineering are not built upon foundations nearly as sturdy or compelling as those that support the physical sciences, and this is so despite the impressive array of superficial mathematical models and data-driven methodologies that are supposed to suggest otherwise.

    i guess you reap what you sow, but it really matter because the mba-sucking frat clowns will get back to date-raping this country before you know it! :::)))

  16. Anonymous

    lol sounds like backfired

  17. Anonymous



  18. GS '13

    You CC kids have got to calm down. You think the University doesn't care about you, try being like us for one day.

    Also, CC deserves a much better dean than MMA. Look at the Dean Awn. He's the best there is. CC should get a Dean of his quality.

  19. Anonymous

    ^ oh my gosh. bwog's famous war is about to start

  20. CC '13

    While I agree that something is fishy here, PrezBo's reaction does kinda make sense. I mean, you can't really quit your job AND write a strongly worded letter that (indirectly) criticizes your boss(es), but still hope to be in a position of power for another year... It makes sense that any administration wouldn't keep someone on the payroll who openly disagrees with policy and plans on leaving soon.

    • Anonymous

      Well, based on the reason for resignation, she wouldn't have been in a position of power anyways. The whole reason of her resignation is the sapping away of power from the deanship. Logic...

  21. Anonymous

    Lol. I can imagine it

  22. Anonymous

    Why why why whywhywhywhywhywhywhywyhwyhwyhwywhywhywhywhy

  23. LulzSec

    Dudes, Moody-Adams sucked as a dean... let's be real. As a person, she was ok.

  24. Anonymous

    Well if Columbia's undergrad education declines, then of course donors should look elsewhere. Students should as well.

  25. harry potter nerd

    LOL CC Dean the new Defense Against Dark Arts position??

  26. To Dean Moody Adams:


  27. Anonymous

    She kinda did nothing. And if you don't like this school, you can leave.

  28. Alum

    "BREAKING: Moody-Adams’ Resignation Effective Immediately"

    Someone missed the point here. The dean resigned effective 6/30/12. The decision to make it immediate was Bollinger's, not hers. In other words, she was *fired*. Calling today's news an immediate resignation fundamentally misses the point.

  29. Anonymous

    looks like she didn't forgot to practice CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

  30. Anonymous

    You guys should transfer to SEAS !!! Hahaha

  31. Anonymous

    This blog could be a SNL skit. We would all do what Prezbo did.....who wants someone to stick around if they are unhappy and going to taint the atmosphere. I would love to be a fly on the wall when all of this came down.......hmmmmm......who really knows what pissed her off? And by the way, Dean MA did absolutely nothing while she was at Columbia.

  32. Anonymous

    The leader of Canada's official opposition, Jack Layton, lost his battle with cancer this morning... while we're arguing about a university leadership shakeup. Time to put things in perspective.

  33. Anonymous

    You shouldn't criticize everyone who asks why this is happening. Negative comments about the state of the university are incredibly healthy. We all clearly have deep investments in this place. Expression of dissent should not be reason for expulsion from the community. In fact it should be celebrated by any academic institution that values considered debate, deliberation and intellectual engagement. If you're not asking why this is happening then your faculties are not turned on. Not that you're unintelligent, only unengaged with an issue that will clearly have serious repercussions for all of us. we have to pay attention and try to see what is happening to this place and ask openly why a clearly smart and experienced leader finds the current state of our institution to be hostile.

  34. It seems to me  

    that this has less to do with exactly what MMA did or didn't do during her time here as it does with the reasons she gives for her resignation. She feels that the power of her position is going to be reduced to such an extent that it no longer makes sense for her to stay here. As she's never seemed like the kind of person to throw a temper tantrum over a personality conflict, this reasoning disturbs me. I love Columbia, but when this school is at its worst it usually seems like the problems come from an administration uninvolved and unconcerned with the lives of its undergraduates. The text of that email makes it sound like these problems are only going to get worse, and that she felt that she could do nothing to stop them even from her position of influence. I think we need to demand more openness from PrezBo about what actually went down; hopefully MMA herself will speak even more freely once she's left the position.

  35. Unemployed CC '11

    Sounds to me like a job opportunity is just opening up

  36. Claude Steele


  37. ...  

    she threw a tantrum in email before some of the most generous givers to the university. her position is untenable now no matter what issue she made have had with the management above her. they're not firing her because it's "fishy," they're firing her because she made the university look bad before the people holding the purse strings. you just don't do that...

    anyway. i called it! haha.

  38. Anonymous

    This guy predicted it. Despite the current 15 downvotes, he's pretty much dead on.

  39. CWG  

    I suspect she intended to make PrezBo and company look bad in front of the donors in order to get those who hold the purse strings to speak out against the changes that caused MMA to step down. Sure, PrezBo is upset that she made him look bad, but firing her, if her strategy works, will only make alumni more hesitant to donate to our university.

    We all want - need - to know what these changes are that made MMA so upset. If they turn out to be as detrimental as she made them out to be, we should see voices of students, alumni and trustees rise up in her defense.

    • uh

      look at the board of trustees - lots of high-powered college alumni there (if not the most high-powered). You don't think that they don't know exactly what's going on, do you? My guess is that they are better informed than the average bwog poster...

  40. huh?

    The University cannot re-allocate funds earmarked for a specific use by any donor. Kluge's finaid money remains finaid money. What I think the University is trying to do is centralize the fundraising operation for efficiency purposes. The college has always wanted its own fundraising arm independent from the rest of the University. This actually has hurt the college, not helped in previous years.

    • Anonymous

      Kluge's fin-aid money may very well remain fin-aid money, but funds previously so allocated from donations that had not been earmarked could be diverted, undermining the intention of the kluge's donation. Particularly disgusting considering that the K's donation was for minority and low-income students, while what clearly represents the largest increase in spending, M-Ville, displaces minority and low income residents by the thousands and prohibitively raises cost of living for the surrounding area for thousands more.

  41. Anonymous

    What I think the University wants to do is severely curtail the core curriculum, as was recommended by an outside group of consultants. I think Moody-Adams was hired because they thought she would be a push-over who would go along. Guess not.

  42. Anonymous

    Ok, seriously, let's keep the discussion relevant. Complaints about the core are absolutely absurd. If you wanted to "take more courses" you're "interested in" then why did you come to Columbia in the first place? It is made very clear that the Core Curriculum exists, and that a significant portion of your Columbia education will consist of Core classes.

  43. does this

    mean we can finally get rid of affiliations with Barnard and GS. Someone please say yes!



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