Three summers ago my family and I settled into Entryway H and I began the best job of my life. Being a residential college dean is one of those rare gigs in life that summons all of you, marshals all your skills. Finding work you love is huge. I wish it for all of you. And I’m enormously grateful to you, and to the ‘15ers and ‘16ers, because you have taught me how to be a dean.
I’m writing today to tell you that because I derive such meaning from the work of listening/advising/cajoling/haranguing/imploring you all, I am going to take my act on the road. Up the road, more precisely, to Prospect St., where I will be the inaugural dean of Benjamin Franklin College. Some of you know I have been very involved with the Steering Committee for the New Colleges over the past two years. I have served as secretary to the committee, digging into floor plans – in the early days when we still called them “North and South” – and FroCo and transfer plans in more recent ones. I was asked to join the new colleges – Franklin, specifically – to bring this knowledge along with some residential college dean experience to the team of four. There’s a lot riding on getting these colleges right, building strong communities that reflect upon the current 12 and integrate with them.
Despite the opportunity to help build a new college, I would not leave Silliman unless I felt it was truly in good shape. Under HoC Santos’s leadership, Silliman is truly thriving. Though I will miss you all, more than I can really process just yet, I know I leave you in very good hands. I only hope with time Franklin will grow into a college as vibrant and caring as Silliman. Tall order.
Specifically, spring term I will be dean to two colleges – the one I live in near all of you, and the “idea” of a college with no actual live students yet. Silliman will remain my primary focus through the academic year, the pinnacle of which will be graduating the Class of 17(!) in May.