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Dean Darlyne Bailey: Her Tenure as Acting President

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Dean Darlyne Bailey: Her Tenure as Acting President

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Darlyne Bailey served as Acting President in 2003.

When people use the term "groundbreaking" to describe Darlyne Bailey's recent service as Teachers College's Acting President, they're not just referring to the fact that Bailey was the first African-American woman to hold that position. They are also talking about the many innovative changes set in motion by Bailey, who has now returned to her regular position as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean.

Bailey came to TC in Spring 2002 from Case Western Reserve University, where she was Dean of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Beyond her duties as Academic Vice President, Bailey was also named a full professor by the Columbia School of Social Work. She was appointed Acting President in fall 2003, when Arthur Levine went on sabbatical to Poland.

At the time of her appointment, Bailey says, there were three significant objectives that she felt were her top priorities. The first was to work with Acting Vice President and Dean Aaron Pallas and the Teacher Education faculty to prepare for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in December 2004. The second was to begin recruiting for a high-level individual to lead the Office of Student Affairs, and the third was to present a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees. Looking back over those months, she smiles and says, "We did all three."

"My goal was not only to sustain and enhance the teacher education programs, but the other side of the College as well, attending to the needs of our health and psychology programs," Bailey adds. To that effect, under her watch, TC added 14 faculty appointments, received additional funds for such faculty needs as equipment and professional development activities, and began rethinking the role of the Office of Student Affairs, which has since been transformed into the Office of Student Services. In Spring 2004, Donald Martin was named to fill a new position, Associate Dean for Enrollment and Student Services. Previously, Martin had been Associate Dean for Enrollment Management for the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. And, the College managed to tighten its budget and prevent a projected $12 million shortfall, without laying off personnel. As Acting President, Bailey understood that the challenge she faced was determining how to prepare the College for some intense conversations about the budget. "We realized that we needed to take some thoughtful actions without throwing the College into a crisis mode," she added. Among the final fiscal cutbacks was a change in the tuition compensation for hourly staff.

A related initiative launched by Acting President Bailey was the establishment of the long-range budget planning committee, "a College-wide planning committee to assist the President and senior staff in financial forecasting and thereby preparing for several years ahead," she said. The long-range goal is to migrate from incremental budgeting, which often forces tough, last-minute budgeting decisions.

Community Partnerships and Safety Planning

Early in her tenure as Acting President, Bailey worked with faculty to "close the deal" with the Leeds family for their $10.8 million dollar investment in the College's National Academy for Excellent Teaching to provide professional development to high school teachers in underserved schools.

Bailey also accepted a $1.5 million check from Riverside Church on behalf of TC's Harlem Educational Renaissance Project, a professional development program for schools in former District 5 (now part of Region 10) in Central Harlem. After the announcement of the Partnership Project, Acting President Bailey stated, "The Riverside Church funding of the Renaissance Project, coupled with the new financial commitment of our College Trustees to facilitate initiation of several education projects in Harlem, provide a strong beginning for a community-wide alliance." From that moment, TC became the convener of the Harlem Education Alliance (HEA), slowly building membership and defining its mission in NYC. One component of HEA is the initiation of the College's partnership with Lucille Swarns, the Superintendent of the Region 10 schools.

Another undertaking that began under Bailey's direction as Acting President is ongoing institutional planning for crisis situations. This effort focuses on communications, the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and maintaining the essential functions of the College in an emergency situation. Bailey began working with the leaders of TC's Emergency Management Team-Tim Kingsley, Chief of Campus Security and Safety; Donna Shaw, Risk Manager; and Jim Mitchell, Director of the Office of Housing and Residence Life-to develop and implement a comprehensive, campus-wide Emergency Evacuation Plan. It includes office-level preparations and crisis-impact/recovery plans, as well as alliances with nearby schools and other facilities to assist one another in a time of crisis.

Even with all of Bailey's new responsibilities, the job was made easier because of support she received from the President's Assistants Jacquie Spano and Todd Rothman, and members of the senior staff. In particular, Bailey cites the efforts of six colleagues: Fred Schnur, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Joe Brosnan, Vice President for Development and External Affairs; Scott Fahey, Assistant to the President/Secretary of the College; Janice Robinson, Special Counsel to the President (Office of Diversity & Community); Barry Rosen, then Executive Director of External Affairs and currently Director of TC's Afghanistan Project; and most notably, Acting Dean Aaron Pallas. "They didn't have to support me as much as they did-they didn't treat me like I was a ‘substitute teacher' in that position," she says. "I'm grateful for their hard questions and high expectations, and as a result, we worked together as a team to give the College the best leadership we could. Our faculty, student and staff colleagues deserve nothing less than that."

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