While trying to make sense of Dean Moody-Adams’ resignation, many have pointed out a striking similarity in the situation to Dean Austin Quigley’s forced resignation in 1997, as chronicled in the New York Times. Although Quigley was reinstated as Dean a mere weekend after his resignation, the story highlights some of the important issues at stake in the battle between the Dean of the College and the central administration.
In ’97, Quigley got into a very serious dispute with then-president George E. Rupp, about the extent to which the College, (with its powerful alumni and their even more powerful donating potential), should be subordinate to the Arts & Sciences administration. Quigley was strongly opposed to surrendering some of his autonomy as leader of the College to David Cohen, the VP of Arts & Sciences. In Bwog’s ongoing research into the origins of Moodygate, we’ve found that while faculty and alumni are still the dark about what exactly prompted Moody-Adams’ dramatic decision, it is emblematic of a long history of the College’s struggle for autonomy, of which the Dean of the College has traditionally been the chief defender. It is also clear that this process of centralization is widely known to be on top of President Bollinger’s personal agenda, although it was a process that began in the ’80s, long before his tenure.
Quigley (who eventually stepped down in 2008) was restored by what has been described an “alumni revolt.” However, he was an extremely visible presence on campus, and immensely popular with students in a way that Moody-Adams has never been. Now that she has been effectively forced to leave by PrezBo, it is extremely unlikely that she will be reinstated.
During her two years as Dean, MiMoo had a reputation for complying with her administrative superiors, and was seen as unwilling to take on the centralizing forces. This makes her resignation all the more dramatic, given her past deference. While Moody-Adams was not seen as an outspoken critic of the President in the way that Quigley was, there’s clearly a major conflict at hand, one that is closely related to the allocation of resources to the College and the way in which they use them.
There is some speculation from our sources that the issues in contention involved the size of the College’s class (which has grown larger in the last few years, prompting some housing debacles) and most importantly its commitment to financial aid. These are serious allegations and there is widespread concern among both the active alumni networks and faculty that the College is being forced to fall into line with the central administration’s wishes in ways that, as per Moody-Adams’ e-mail: “will ultimately compromise the College’s academic quality and financial health.”
Image via WikiCU