Columbia’s convoluted administrative structure has undergone some major changes in the past year. To bring our freshest batch of freshpeople up to date, we’ve prepared this handy hyperlink guide to the major events surrounding the appointments of two of the most important administrators of the undergraduate community: James Valentini (Deantini), Dean of Columbia College; and Donald Goldfarb (Goldean), Interim Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Downing a Deantini Takes the Edge Off of Moodygate
- In June of 2011, then-Dean of Columbia College Michele Moody-Adams (MiMoo) sent a letter announcing her resignation to a group of alumni. In the letter, she gave her reasons for resigning—involving a controversial report about Columbia from the McKinsey consulting firm—and said her resignation would be effective June 30, 2012.
- However, PrezBo had different plans in mind: our fearless leader tendered MiMoo’s resignation immediately, planning to replace her with an interim dean loyal to the
party ranksadministration before the start of the academic year.
- In the wake of what would come to be called Moodygate, administrators and student groups released reactions and explanations, while the drama drew media attention from outlets like the Times.
- Though a week late for 2015′s cancelled convocation, PrezBo appointed James Valentini, a chemistry professor and former chair of the chemistry department, as Interim Dean of Columbia College; Valentini was promptly affirmed by the University Senate’s Student Affairs Committee.
- Of course, no administrative appointment would be complete without a nickname contest; the people spoke (and received Milano), choosing Deantini as the new Dean’s “official“ name.
- Dean Valentini quickly took to his new post, meeting with Bwog to discuss key issues, being baptized in the frustrated shouts of disgruntled students, and even posting a cute video.
- As his tenure in the position wore on, Deantini came to understand the student body, starred in a not-so-major motion picture series on Bwog, rapped in the VShow, and even had a cocktail named after him.
- It’s become clear from his corny e-mails to alums and hilarious (though sadly illegitimate) time on Twitter that Deantini is serious about building the Columbia community, and he’s spoken with Bwog repeatedly to this effect.
- Of course, his position was at this time only temporary, so a committee was organized to search for the new permanent dean of Columbia College. It took input from the community and inevitably missed its deadline.
- With his energetic reaction to the position and voracious involvement in student life, it came as little surprise that the likable Deantini was selected by the search committee to remain on as permanent Dean of Columbia College.
The Fall of Feni, The Rise of Goldean
- Until his resignation this past summer, the dean of SEAS was civil engineer [and computer scientist] Feniosky Peña-Mora.
- In response to his aggressive expansionary policy, the SEAS faculty expressed serious discontent with Feni’s unreliability and unwillingness to accept criticism of his efforts at increasing the number of SEAS graduate students.
- In order to appease the faculty, Donald Goldfarb was appointed to the post of Executive Vice Dean, but this administrative Band-Aid failed to ameliorate the faculty’s concerns.
- Though the ESC stood in support of Peña-Mora and his Deantini-esque “hip with the kids” attitude, the faculty conducted clandestine votes of no confidence, with overwhelmingly anti-Feni results.
- When Feni finally submitted his resignation in July, Goldfarb was upgraded from Executive Vice Dean to Interim Dean of SEAS; Bwog immediately set about giving him a nickname.
- Though he was apparently already a leader of the engineering mafia, the people spoke and Interim Dean Goldfarb emerged from his pokéball as Goldean.