It’s official: According to this letter from Prezbo, Interim Dean James J. Valentini is the new permanent Dean of Columbia College.
According to the Selection Committee, Deantini is the “ideal candidate for the position of Columbia College Dean” due to “the depth of his understanding of Columbia College,” particularly its finances, administrative structure, and financial aid.
Don’t feel too bad for the other three candidates. They might not be dean, but they are “attractive candidates” with “great potential for assuming leadership roles in the future.”
Here’s the Selection Committee’s letter:
The search committee for the Dean of Columbia College has concluded its work. After considering a long list of nominations and interviewing four candidates over several days, we recommended to President Bollinger that he appoint Interim Dean Jim Valentini to the position. The decision was unanimous and enthusiastically endorsed by all members of the search committee. Jim impressed the committee with the depth of his understanding of Columbia College and the clarity of his thinking about the future of undergraduate education here. His grasp of budgetary process and his familiarity with the institution’s new administrative structures position him well to provide effective leadership at this pivotal moment in the life of the College within the University. We were struck in particular by his appreciation of the contributions of all members of the community – students, alumni, faculty, and administration – in making Columbia College a world-class liberal arts learning environment. Jim is also firmly committed to ensuring that all Columbia College students are able to avail themselves of academic opportunities, regardless of their financial circumstances.
In his nine months as Interim Dean, Jim Valentini has set the highest standards for transparency and integrity in the governance of the College and the Arts and Sciences. He has brought energy and creativity to every task. Finally, he has demonstrated his capacity for compassion and personal engagement with the students on this campus. These qualities make him an ideal candidate for the position of Columbia College Dean.
In the course of conducting interviews, the committee identified other attractive candidates with great potential for assuming leadership roles in the future. We have communicated these findings to President Bollinger as well.
The search committee was composed of faculty, students and alumni to ensure that the perspectives of all groups were represented.
Chair and Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
Professor, Department of History
Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Jesse and George Siegel Professor in the Humanities, Department of Slavic Languages
Giddings Professor of Sociology
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Gustav A. Berne Professor of Philosophy
William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology
Alumna (CC ’87), President of the Columbia College Alumni Association
Alumnus (CC ’87 EN ’88), Chair of the Columbia College Board of Visitors
Student (CC ’13), Psychology
Student (CC ’13), Economics
Student (CC ’13), President of the Columbia College Student Council