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Au Revoir, Dean Quigley

Just over an hour ago, Austin Quigley announced via email that next fall would be his last year serving as Dean of Columbia College. At this time, information on why he’s leaving and who’s replacing him is scant, but we’ll be updating as we find out more. Below is the email:

UPDATE 6:20 PM: Bollinger assures CC that Quigley will continue to hang out around CU, specifically continuing “as the Brander Matthews Professor of Dramatic Literature after he steps down. He will also devote half of his time serving broader University initiatives working closely with me as Special Advisor to the President for Undergraduate Education.”

“Dear Student,

When you return to Columbia this fall, my term as Dean will become the second longest in the College’s history.  2008-09 will be the fourteenth year it has been my privilege to serve as Dean and it will also be the final year.  Deciding when to move on from a position of responsibility is always a challenge, but wisdom is on the side of doing so when things continue to go well, so that a successor will have the opportunity to steer that positive momentum toward new priorities.



The fundamental responsibility of any Dean of the College is to leave the institution in better shape than one found it and I have sought every year to pursue that goal.  I do not need to detail here the familiar record of progress in the College: admissions statistics, facilities renewal, fundraising levels, faculty investments, curricular innovations, student achievements, financial-aid upgrades, student services enhancements, alumni program initiatives, and so on have all characterized College renewal in the last thirteen years. I would rather reiterate what I have emphasized so many times before: success on so many fronts is always collective success, not that of any single individual. It has been my good fortune to work closely with a talented College staff, a dedicated faculty, a creative and supportive university leadership, a deeply committed group of alumni and parents, and a remarkably talented student body. Together, we have strengthened an already prestigious undergraduate College to make it one of the most sought after educational institutions in the land, carefully preserving its long established historical character while setting new goals and instituting new traditions. Our collective achievements have always been precisely that, collective.

Like so many Columbians, I began my life in a place some distance from here and in a world very different from that of Columbia University in the City of New York.  But like so many others, mine has become, in enduring ways, a Columbia life, and my pride at feeling a valued member of the Columbia family is reward enough for the part I have had the good fortune to play in making Columbia just a little bit better. I look forward to my final year as Dean and to working closely with all of you.

Best wishes,

Austin E. Quigley

Dean of Columbia College”

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35 Comments

  • good riddance says:

    @good riddance oh, passions.

  • noooo says:

    @noooo quiggles can’t leave! i need him

  • Wow says:

    @Wow One after the next. Galil, Shapiro, Quigley.

  • sad face says:

    @sad face I love Quigley.

  • so weird says:

    @so weird did anyone else not get the email? (im in cc)

    1. uhh says:

      @uhh did you graduate today? Senio… i mean, alumni (officially) didn’t get the email.

      1. ouch says:

        @ouch that hurts.

  • CC 10 says:

    @CC 10 Quigley always presents the appearance of being close with undergrads and really involved in activities in the College. But I’ve honestly only ever seen the guy at formal occassions when he’s giving a speech. I can’t say I am sad to see him go because he’s just not a presence on campus.

  • Concerned BC student says:

    @Concerned BC student Does this mean that Quigley will never come in our Vag?

  • This says:

    @This is possibly the first I’ve ever heard from Quigley in my 3 years here. Good Riddance; I’ve been to Alumni dinners and he really talks up students and how he’s so close with them. Fraud.

    1. haters! says:

      @haters! He is close with some students, but its impossible to know everybody in a school of 4,000 kids. Just because he’s not close with you doesn’t mean it’s all talk.

      1. not hating bro says:

        @not hating bro True, but he doesn’t even email. Zvi Galil emailed SEAS. I mean, how long would it take to send a friendly email? “Hey CC, I’m here raising billions of dollars for your sorry asses, what did you ever do for me? xoxo Luv Quiggly”

  • ... says:

    @... i think they should rename the convenience mart in the basement of john jay the Quigley Wiggley in honor of Dean Quigley’s outstanding service to the college.

    1. brilliant says:

      @brilliant seconded!

      i was once in north carolina with my family, when an irate women yelled and yelled at the gas station clerk because he wouldn’t accept her piggley wiggley card as id for the check she was trying to use to pay for her gas. true story.

    2. wait... says:

      @wait... can we try the quigley kwiki, like on the simpsons….

  • Revior? says:

    @Revior? really? i know frenchy-talk is spelled funny and everything, but come on

    1. bwog says:

      @bwog used to have the courtesy of writing a comment that they made a revision.

      1. Shut says:

        @Shut the fuck up.

  • Monsoir, says:

    @Monsoir, Franchaise sile vouz plai.

  • well i'm says:

    @well i'm not the one whining about not being bosom-buddies with Quigley. Why don’t you throw stones after you move out of Lerner Hall.

    1. Yes but says:

      @Yes but whining for petty and unimportant things is just silly.

  • Where's says:

    @Where's coverage of commencement? Also, I graduated and I got an email about Quigs, just much later.

    And I agree, he’s a jerk. I don’t even feel a sense of “good riddance” just “Oh, wouldn’t notice a thing…”

    1. Yeah, says:

      @Yeah, where’s the commencement post?

      1. Juli says:

        @Juli It’ll be up soon

  • who says:

    @who was the commencement speaker?

    1. well says:

      @well The Commencement speaker was PrezBo. It has always been the president, it will always be the president. What are you, a pre-frosh?

  • Alum says:

    @Alum “next fall would be his last year serving as Dean”

    I didn’t realize fall was an entire year.

  • junior says:

    @junior I’ve just never been to Columbia’s commencement, and most universities have speakers. Chill out douchebag.

  • alumnus says:

    @alumnus GREAT dean. thanks, quigley!

  • CC 08 says:

    @CC 08 Quigley always gives the impression that he is damn close to students, when the truth is no where near it. i only get this guy’s email when there is a protest, a death or a mishap near campus. he isn’t really as accessible or as friendly as he appears to be

    1. new alum says:

      @new alum I disagree. I don’t know him very well, but I make a point to say hello to him and smile when I see him on the street. He also entertained my friend’s request to allow someone to take a picture of them hugging. He’s an endearing man, and gave a wonderful speech at the PBK ceremony about growing up in a tiny town in the north of england. I will miss him.

      1. well says:

        @well He’s incredibly charming in person. However, accessibility is tough. He’s got a tough standard to live up to in Zvi Galil, who embodied the ideal of active spirited attached dean. In the course of 4 years at Columbia I received 3 emails from Quigs. 1 was actually Columbo using the wrong alias, and the other was a joint statement on illegal downloading.

        Many people at Columbia are great if you go out of your way to find them. Few actively reach out to you.

        1. me2 says:

          @me2 I have only received 5 emails from Quigley over the past 4 years:

          1. Illegal downloading, 2/20/06
          2. Rogue financial aid officer, 4/5/07
          3. Financial aid improvements, 3/11/08
          4. Congratulations to the class of 2008, 5/16/08
          5. Last year at Columbia, 5/22/08

          I also received three emails about hate crimes and the 2007 hunger strike, but these were sent jointly by Quigs and Dirks.

          http://www.wikicu.com/Austin_E._Quigley

  • messages says:

    @messages Yes. I was perplexed by that illegal downloading statement, given that the University constantly sends those messages out, including in the NSOP mailings.

  • HEY! says:

    @HEY! Dean Novielli sounds nice

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