To the Williams Community,
I write to share with you news about the position of dean of faculty. As you know, Cluett Professor of Religion Denise K. Buell has served admirably as dean since July 2014. At its October meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a second full term for Denise, a term that will begin in July 2018. For the 2017-18 academic year, she will return to the faculty to take an earned sabbatical to work on a book project. During that period, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry Lee Park will serve as interim dean of faculty.
Lee has been a member of the Williams faculty since 1993, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a PhD from MIT. She is on leave this year, following two years of service as associate dean of faculty. Lee has served the college in many capacities during her time at Williams, most recently as chair of the Committee on Educational Policy and as a member of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions.
I’m deeply grateful to Lee for agreeing to serve in this interim role and to Denise for her readiness to return to the position upon the completion of her sabbatical. My thanks as well to the Faculty Steering Committee, with whom I consulted closely on these appointments. The willingness of faculty to serve in key roles in the administration is at the heart of our system of shared governance—a critical contributor to the enduring excellence of our college.