GS’s Dean of Students, Scott Halvorson, resigned today in order to return “to his first love, writing.” Halvorson actually got an MFA from SoA in 2001, and has won some awards from his screenwriting. So he’s going back to that.

At least he isn’t going to Stanford. (/USNews)

Dear Students,

It is with mixed emotions that I write today.  Dean Scott Halvorson will be ending his long and distinguished career at GS.   Dean Halvorson has been considering for some time returning to his first love, writing.  As some of you know, Dean Halvorson earned his MFA at Columbia’s School of the Arts in 2001, with a specialization in screenwriting and won several awards for his work.

As his responsibilities at GS continued to grow, he found that he had less and less time to devote to his writing.  Consequently, he has decided that, after 15 years at GS, it is time for him to focus more intensely on his craft.

While working on his graduate degree, Scott Halvorson joined the GS team in 1997 as Assistant Director of the New York State funded Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Manager of the Learning Center.  That same year he was promoted to Assistant Dean, where he continued to advise students and also ran the Program for Academic Leadership and Service (PALS), which took the place of HEOP, and the government funded Global Scholars Program.  In 2003, Dean Halvorson was appointed Associate Dean of Students by the then Dean of Students, Dr. Mary McGee.  On her resignation in 2008, Dean Halvorson was appointed Acting Dean and then in 2010, after a robust search, he was appointed permanent Dean of Students.  During his tenure, he has also taught University Writing and courses in the School of the Arts.

Scott Halvorson’s contributions to the lives of GS students and to GS have been profound.  One need only speak to the many students and alumni for whom he has been a compassionate and insightful advisor.  All of us at GS are grateful to him for his teamwork and collegiality.  While we will miss having Dean Halvorson as part of the Columbia community, we are excited for him as he returns to his writing career.

Please join me in wishing Dean Scott Halvorson the very best for the future.  I will be in touch in the very near future with information about the process to find Dean Halvorson’s successor.


Peter J. Awn