September 8, 2017
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
I am writing to let you know that, at the end of this academic year, Abby Van Slyck will step down from her position as dean of the faculty, after four fine years of service as dean and three as associate dean. She will return to teaching and research in the 2019-20 academic year, following a sabbatical.
As dean of the faculty, she has worked to strengthen our academic programs, most notably as a champion of Connections and an important voice for advancing the College’s long-standing commitment to global education. She has guided institutional planning efforts as co-chair of the strategic planning committee, co-chair of the athletics task force, and co-chair of the NEASC reaccreditation steering committee. And she has been a ready advocate for our work on full participation. She co-chaired the search committee that brought Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion John McKnight to Connecticut College and she has worked closely with him to bring even greater equity and integrity to the faculty search process. She also represented Connecticut College in the Creating Connections Consortium (C3), an initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Under her leadership, eight post-doctoral fellows arrived on campus and Mellon agreed to re-fund C3 for several more years. In the time that I have worked with Abby, I have admired her integrity, candor, and grace under pressure. She has been an outstanding contributor to the senior administrative team and has advanced the aspirations of our community in many important ways. I have personally benefited from her knowledge and will miss her counsel. Her departure from the administration may be a real loss for Fanning Hall, but it will also represent a gain for the College as an exceptional teacher and scholar returns to the classroom.
In the coming weeks, I will be working with the Faculty Steering and Conference Committee on the process through which we will identify a successor. Abby has much work to do, of course, in her final year as dean. I look forward to announcing an occasion later in the year when we will be able to thank her for her many achievements.