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New Associate Dean of the Faculty

From a faculty source:

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Katarzyna Pieprzak, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, has agreed to serve as Associate Dean of the Faculty for two years, starting August 1, 2018.

Kashia earned her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and taught at the City University of New York before arriving at Williams in 2003. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century artistic and literary engagements with urban space in North Africa; museum studies with a focus on institutional decolonization; and gender and migration in the Francophone world. She is the author of Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Post-Colonial Morocco (University of Minnesota Press: 2010), and co-editor of two volumes: Land and Landscape in Francographic Literature and Africanity in North African Visual Culture, a special issue of the African Art History journal Critical Interventions. Her new book in progress, The Traveling Bidonville, explores the relationship between aesthetics and the possibility of political constitution in shantytowns in North Africa and France.

Kashia’s work as associate dean will focus on faculty development, drawing on her strong record of service and leadership experience. She has taken a couple turns at chairing the Department of Romance Language and Literatures and is currently chairing Arabic Studies. She has also been elected to the CEP (now CEA) and the Faculty Review Panel, chaired the Olmsted Prize Committee, and served very capably as co-director of the First3 initiative for the last two years.

This associate deanship is a rotating position. Kashia will succeed Rhon Manigault-Bryant, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, who has served in this role since summer 2016. John Gerry will continue to serve as associate dean as well, and Megan Konieczny as assistant dean. Those two positions provide the dean’s office with points of continuity, as do Justine Beringer and Barb Pietras who support the faculty in many, many ways. Indeed, we have a very experienced team, also including Carrie Greene and Veronica Bosley who manage academic events, Ric Grefé who oversees our design thinking pilot, and Denise Buell who will return as Dean of the Faculty. We all look forward to working with Kashia when she joins us this summer.

Best wishes,

Lee

Lee Park

Interim Dean of the Faculty

1) Comments from any insiders? Pieprzak does not seem an obvious member of the faculty’s diversity-über-alles wing.

2) See here for a nice intro to Pieprzak’s academic work.

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#1 Comment By Alum-Anon On March 7, 2018 @ 4:40 pm

1) Comments from any insiders? Pieprzak does not seem an obvious member of the faculty’s diversity-über-alles wing.

Starting with “Her research interests include 20th and 21st century artistic and literary engagements with urban space in North Africa; museum studies with a focus on institutional decolonization; and gender and migration in the Francophone world,” I’d conclude the opposite.

#2 Comment By JCD 🏝️ On March 7, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

Me too. She’s an obvious political choice.

[REMOVED — DDF]

#3 Comment By 🍆🍆🍆🍆 On March 7, 2018 @ 6:02 pm

JCD, you are just such a dishonest, misleading person (or just exceedingly daft – not mutually exclusive). She has 4 student ratings on RateMy Professors and 3 of them are 4.5/5 or higher in quality. The one negative review didn’t even say why she was so bad. We can pretty much throw everything else you say out, too.

#4 Comment By JCD 🏝️ On March 7, 2018 @ 8:56 pm

[REMOVED — DDF]

#5 Comment By BH On March 7, 2018 @ 9:29 pm

David–

Why do you allow this kind of behavior? It’s your blog; you’re allowed to have standards of decency.

#6 Comment By Doug On March 7, 2018 @ 11:24 pm

JCD, nobody uses ratemyprofessor. We use WSO factrack. She has unanimously positive reviews on WSO. You’re delusional, but also classless and tonedeaf.

#7 Comment By frank uible On March 7, 2018 @ 11:42 pm

Haul out the cryometer!

#8 Comment By JCD 🏝️ On March 8, 2018 @ 12:15 am

-Doug

Please. I didn’t become a successful businessman or a published, award-winning political scientist by being delusional.

As far as I recall, I was the only one here predicting a Trump win based on polling results of undecided voters.

There are plenty of liberals who truly are delusional posting on this site. In that context, I think I’m a strong voice of sanity and reality.

It is sad that you think sharing objective, third party reviews from credible sources – independent of Williams College – is either classless or tone deaf.

Backing up my claims with evidence is how I’ve succeeded in winning millions of dollar from state and federal funders. You might be wise to pay greater attention to your own language and credibility.

#9 Comment By JCD 🏝️ On March 8, 2018 @ 12:46 am

All in all, it is not so easy to get truthful information about Williams College through the usual sources. I think students who really want to know what is going on are wise to check in with Ephblog.

By the way, check out the rave reviews on Rate My Professor for the highest rated professor at Williams College, Christian Thorne.

Christian Thorne Professor in the English department
at Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Now, that is the guy who should be the new Associate Dean of the Faculty. Also, for the troubled history and administrative resistance to a completely transparent WSO Factrack, check out this early Ephblog article. Future historians take note…

Factrack For First Years

Personally, I have enough experience in college teaching to suspect that WSO Factrack is limited to students – in large measure – because it makes it harder to get out to the general public truthful information about bizarre, anti-white, left-wing faculty members. Even left-wing students are opposed to that.

For objective information about Williams College from outside conservative sources, I recommend College Reform and the College Fix websites. Here are some sample articles.

Dems took 100% of donations from Williams College in 2017

Williams College president doubles down on banning opinions he doesn’t like from campus

#10 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2018 @ 4:30 am

Gentlemen, start your name calling!

#11 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On March 8, 2018 @ 7:11 am

JCD: I think you have offered enough opinions on the subject of Professor Pieprzak.

Doug: If you could post some of her factrack reviews, that would be great. I love it when the College appoints excellent teachers to powerful administrative positions!

#12 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2018 @ 8:48 am

My life experience tells me that excellent teachers not infrequently turn out to be less than good administrators.

#13 Comment By sigh On March 8, 2018 @ 9:35 am

Honestly, how many times does a commenter get chastised for his comments before this blog will do anything more to stop that type of comment?

#14 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On March 8, 2018 @ 9:42 am

Join us as an author, anonymously is fine, and you will have a great deal more say in how much we police our commentators.

Indeed, you would have total authority in the threads you author.

#15 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2018 @ 11:20 am

On EphBlog does comity trump speech?

#16 Comment By abl On March 8, 2018 @ 11:59 am

DDF –

That’s a cop-out. Everyone here understands that authors can control their own threads. The problem people like sigh have is that you don’t exercise enough control over your threads — which comprise a majority of all ephblog threads and nearly all of the threads in which JCD crosses the line.

To the extent that it matters, I am an ephblog author and my vote is strongly in favor of you better moderating JCD’s comments in your threads.

I also think there is a broader point that sigh and others here have made that you’ve dodged: at what point does a commenter here violate community standards one too many times? This is particularly relevant if, for whatever reason, it is impracticable or undesirable for individual authors to moderate the comments on their posts. To the extent that it matters, as an ephblog author, my vote is in favor of considering ephblog-wide bans in exceptional circumstances — potentially including when a commentator like JCD has repeatedly violated community standards over a long period of time despite repeatedly being asked to reign things in.

#17 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

abl/ sigh-

I am in favor of David allowing these controversial comments. If not for David’s openness to the expression of “other ideas” I would never have been allowed to be an author here.

No one has to pay attention to things stated that they do not condone. David has no responsibility at all to edit or censor what “you don’t want to read.” That is nobody’s responsibility but your own.

You do not have to read or respond to posters you do not agree with or like….

I applaud David for not executing the “Nouveau Williams” censorship plan…

Read and pay attention to what you like. It is your decision to read any particular authors posts and respond or not respond to them. It does not get any simpler than that.

#18 Comment By myrddin emrys On March 8, 2018 @ 1:03 pm

While I do not disagree with the other comments, being the subject of (usually obnoxious or absurd) criticism by DDF or JCD is considered a mark of distinction by some members of the faculty.

#19 Comment By abl On March 8, 2018 @ 1:24 pm

PTC –

I am not suggesting that controversial comments or “other ideas” be blocked. Although I do not always agree with your point of view, for example, you’ve never said anything on these boards (nor could I imagine you saying anything on these boards) that comes close to approaching the level of disrespect or vitriol to which JCD stoops with some regularity. There’s a large and meaningful difference between making controversial or unpopular statements and making angry and unsupported personal attacks against specific Williams students or faculty members. For the record, I don’t find most of JCD’s posts (however inane) to be objectionable in this way. In fact, I think that JCD is at his best when he sticks to politics–even though I think he’s rarely thoughtful and is wrong in most material respects. And his repeated insistence on relating everything on this board back to his own pitiful beef with the school that fired him 30 years ago, however tiresome, isn’t per se problematic. My suggestion isn’t that ephblog censors minority viewpoints or anything remotely of that nature. Instead, given that ephblog is a board that should — and does — have some minimal community standards, when someone violates those standards, their posts should be removed.

#20 Comment By Fendertweed On March 8, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

“Rarely thoughtful … often wrong…” …. the perfect JCD-in-a-nutshell.

And don’t forget the All Time Poster Boy for relentless victim hood and grievance “advocacy.”

#21 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

abl-

Then you are left with the problem of “who decides.” Censorship in a forum like this is almost always a subjective exercise. Better to just let him rant and rave and simply not comment and not read his posts… speak with others, rather than to bring in censorship.

At any rate- David’s post, David’s call.

#22 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On March 8, 2018 @ 7:32 pm

abl writes:

I am an ephblog author and my vote is strongly in favor of you better moderating JCD’s comments in your threads.

The comments of authors like abl matter a great deal, especially in my threads. So, I have removed two of JCD’s comments, ones that I agree were both unsupported and mean-spirited.

I still encourage him (and everyone else!) to offer opinions, however harsh, especially on the public statements of Williams faculty/administrators.

PS. Note that this is not the first time that I have removed comments and spoken privately with various individuals. Swart has done the same. Just because you don’t see everything we do, don’t assume that we aren’t doing anything.

And don’t forget how we banned David Broadband!