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GS Dean Of Students Removed From Position Due To Unacceptable Conduct

According to an email sent to General Studies students this afternoon, Tom Harford, the GS Dean of Students, has been removed from his position.

Dean of General Studies Lisa Rosen-Metsch emailed students today to inform them of the sudden change. According to her statement, the decision to remove Harford was due to “unacceptable conduct” within the context of his role. No further reasons were given, although Rosen-Metsch wrote that Advising Deans would be available to address any questions or concerns.

Harford had occupied the role since 2012. His responsibilities included overseeing operations within the Dean of Students Office and working closely with the GS advisory team. Prior to his appointment, Harford occupied administrative positions at Columbia’s School of Continuing Education.

Former Senior Associate Dean of Students, Ivonne Rojas, GSAS ‘12, has been chosen as Acting Dean of Students in Harford’s absence.

Rosen-Metsch closed the email by reaffirming that General Studies holds “the intellectual accomplishment and personal fulfillment of [its] students [as its] foremost priority.”

Full email from GS Dean Rosen-Metsch:

Dear members of the School of General Studies community:

I am writing to let you know that I have removed Tom Harford from his position as Dean of Students after conduct that is unacceptable in light of his responsibilities was brought to our attention.

I have named Ivonne Rojas (GSAS ’12), formerly our Senior Associate Dean of Students, as Acting Dean of Students.  Ivonne and our full complement of Advising Deans are available to address your questions or concerns as you return to General Studies or begin your coursework here for the first time.  I am confident that the support our students need as the semester begins will be strong.

The intellectual accomplishment and personal fulfillment of our remarkable students is my foremost priority, and I look forward to a dynamic and productive academic year ahead.


Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Dean, School of General Studies

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Curious what the conduct was. This language is what Columbia normally uses as code for sexual assault/harassment, so them not clarifying is concerning. More clarification would be nice?

  • Uh Oh says:

    @Uh Oh Who’d he rape?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Mickey Soviet was sleeping with Joan when she was still his student

  • "Journalism" is dead says:

    @"Journalism" is dead umm… Scott Halvorson was previous DoS. (

    Peter Awn was directly appointed as Dean of GS in 1997 and never served as DoS.(

    Who fact-checks your shit??? Literally google and 10 seconds of time.

    1. Abby Rubel says:

      @Abby Rubel The post has been edited to reflect this.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous And now we get the news that he sexually assaulted a student. Who’s surprised? Anyone? Anyone? No? Thought so.

  • A faculty member says:

    @A faculty member Faculty members were told nothing at all about Dean Harford’s removal, and I must say this is typical of Columbia. We are well paid and expected to do little. But where University policy matters are concerned, we are kept in the dark and treated with contempt.

    1. sunmula says:

      @sunmula It sounds like this needs to be brought up in University Senate

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