The school year might be over as far as final exams and cat-naps in Butler go, but as we learned last summer, there’s never a dull moment for the admin.
As SEAS seniors and their Dean get ready to tear up South Lawn, their student council remind us that there’s more to the story, with a newly released statement reaffirming their confidence in Dean Peña-Mora’s “commitment to undergraduate students.” You can check out all two paragraphs after the jump, but bear with us for a few bullets if you need a recap.
- Last October, members of the SEAS faculty expressed dissatisfaction with Dean Peña-Mora’s stint at Columbia in the form of a letter to Provost Coatsworth
- However, we had no idea ’til it was leaked to/published by the NYT in early December; main complaints were that the Dean refused to listen to other staffers, and that his hiring decisions were made at the expense of academic interests
- At the time, Deaña-Mora declined to comment—but, last month, he sat down with Bwog and addressed some of the concerns outlined in the letter; Choice excerpt: “The departments are like states, and states have their interests. But the federal government has to do what’s best for the country as a whole. I need to make decisions that are best for SEAS as a whole.”
- But wait! That’s not all for leadership drama—way back when (and by “when” we mean “August”), former CC Dean Michele Moody-Adams rocked our
worldsinboxes with a surprise resignation, to later be chalked up to lots of complicated questions about protecting the College and dubbed Moodygate
- Chem professor James Valentini took over as the interim Dean of the College back in early September, and earlier this month, he talked to Bwog about some of the issues facing the College.
- More than a month ago, PrezBo announced the formation of a student/faculty committee put in place to select a permanent Dean; just last week, the timeline for that decision got pushed back to the end of May “at the earliest”
May 12, 2012
To the Editor:
With the academic year wrapping up and summer quickly approaching, the Engineering Student Council would like to make a statement reaffirming our confidence in Dean Peña-Mora’s commitment to undergraduate students. We believe that Dean Peña-Mora has and will continue to maintain his strong and fruitful working relationship with the undergraduate engineering community.
Since becoming the Dean three years ago, he has continuously strived to improve the undergraduate engineering experience. Through his many initiatives to reach out to the students, Dean Peña-Mora has actively maintained both visibility and accessibility to student groups and individual students.
We are confident that the Dean will further enhance the undergraduate engineering student life and educational experience. We look forward to working with the Dean next year.
Tim Qin, President
Bora Kim, VP Policy
Sheila Misheni, VP Student Life
Siddhant Bhatt, VP Finance
Caroline Taylor, VP Communications
Akshay Shah, University Senator