New Leadership in Academic Affairs

Yesterday I sent the following email to the Wesleyan community:

I am pleased to announce that Rob Rosenthal, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, has agreed to serve as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the 2010/2011 academic year. Rob brings to this position experience gained as chair of the faculty, as director of the Service Learning Center, and as a celebrated scholar-teacher.


Rob’s appointment is effective July 1, 2010. Although he will be off campus for a good part of the summer, he will be available for consultation during that time.


Wesleyan is fortunate that Rob will serve in this position while the university undertakes a search for a chief academic officer. At the start of the fall 2010 semester, I will be able to update you on the status of that search.

I am particularly grateful to Rob for taking on this assignment because I know he is also eager to complete his work with the Pete Seeger papers. Rob’s mix of interests in politics, community development, service learning, music and social movements has long benefited Wesleyan students — most recently in his work as an advisor to undergraduates putting together a school and women’s health center in Kenya.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Joe Bruno, who served as Provost for four years. He generously aided me in my first years as President and helped to steer the university through the recent economic upheavals. Not surprisingly, he has already been very helpful in orienting Rob in his new role. The Wesleyan community is fortunate indeed to have the benefit of these scholar-teachers who are also great university citizens.

[tags]Rob Rosenthal, interim Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joe Bruno, Service Learning Center[/tags]

4 thoughts on “New Leadership in Academic Affairs”

  1. Joe Bruno deserves recognition for his many accomplishments as Vice President for Academic Affairs. As Vice-Chair of the Educational Policy Committee for the last two years, I saw him work with the faculty to approve the Environmental Studies major and College for the Environment as well numerous new certificates, including Middle Eastern Studies, and to help departments and programs create processes for assessment of learning outcomes. He spearheaded the plans for much-needed new facilities in the sciences (derailed by the economic crisis), and worked with faculty to hire brilliant new colleagues. (This is by no means an exhaustive list.) Most important of all, he had a reputation with the faculty for academic integrity, honesty, and fair dealing, without which no leadership is possible.

  2. I’d like to second Susanne’s comments on Joe Bruno: “academic integrity, honesty, and fair dealing” says everything about him. Sorry to see you step down. Thank you Joe.

  3. I would like to second Susanne’s well-chosen words. Since the position of Vice-President for Academic Affairs requires negotiating between the administration and faculty, it can be exercised either with the mantle of institutional authority or the strength of real leadership. Joe has cultivated and achieved the latter through respectful engagement, compassionate yet firm decision making, and proactive support for both individuals and departments/programs. Wesleyan’s faculty and academic programs are all the stronger due to his diligence and acumen.

  4. As parents of a Wesleyan alumnus, who has educationally and professionally prospered so well at Penn Medical School from his Wesleyan expereience, we were fortunate enough to meet and get to know very well Joe and his wonderful wife Diane as the reprtesentatives for Wesleyan on a recent World Affairs/ Wesleyan sponsored journey/trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. Although we had heard great things about what Joe had been accomplishing at Wesleyan, we were fortunate enough to see first hand how engaging, caring, and thoughtful both Joe and Diane were on the Trip. They represented Wesleyan in the highest light possible, and we really appreciated having the opportunity to share a dinner conversation with a group of very impressive and dynamic Vietnamese graduates of Wesleyan and a few other great Colleges and Universities, who live and work in Ho Chi Minh City. We thank Joe and Diane for that amazing opportunity. Joe- We wish you further great success in your return to the Professor Teaching role and thank you again what you have done for Wesleyan.

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