College hires a new dean of faculty
President William D. Adams made the announcement on November 9 that Lori Kletzer, a professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), will be the College's new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, starting in the next academic year. She succeeds Edward Yeterian, who has held the position for the past 12 years.
At UCSC, Kletzer also served on the Academic Senate, the University's faculty senate of sorts.
Kletzer's move across the country from California to Waterville, Maine, is remarkable not only in mileage, but in scale: she will be shifting from a state university to a private liberal arts college. However, for Kletzer, "it's not so much a transition but a going back."
Kletzer received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College, and held her first job as professor at Williams College, two highly regarded liberal arts schools, not unlike the College.
Liberal arts "is the place I always wanted to go back to," she said. "It's always been a part of me. I decided I wanted to be an academic [while in this setting]...So for me--and I know it's a horrible cliché--it's like going home. It's like going back to the place, emotionally, that I never left."
Adams said in a press release that he is "particularly impressed by [Kletzer's] strong teaching record at institutions committed to undergraduate education and by her distinguished record of scholarship."
Under Kletzer's jurisdiction, as vice president and dean, are the College's academic programs, libraries, the off-campus study department, the registrar's office, institutional research and the athletics program.
On the Hill, Kletzer said she hopes to help the College work toward its goal of achieving greater diversity on campus. "I intend to be very energetic in pursuing both excellence and diversity at the same time [when recruiting faculty]," she said.
Kletzer has worked to develop diversity in her work as a female in the male-dominated field of economics and in her academic career as a whole.
"Together with Colby, I share that goal of diversity," she said. "Faculty diversity and student diversity have to go hand-in-hand."
"That's going to be my job: to really set the standard and insist on recruiting and retention and faculty development strategies that are good for faculty both as academics and intellectuals and as members of a diverse community," she said.
"It is enormously important to an influential community that it be welcoming and diverse and developing. And fortunately for me, on the faculty side, I'm going to be the chief person responsible for setting the tone and setting the environment."
Kletzer said she will also work to foster a sense of academic community in the faculty, one that reflects the passion that the professors inspire in their students.
"I think Lori brings a wonderful energy, spirit and talent. She'll bring fresh perspectives; a whole new set of eyes," Adams said. "I think she's going to be terrific."