Zumwalt Leaves Dean's Post: Search for New Dean Begins | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Zumwalt Leaves Dean's Post: Search for New Dean Begins

Karen Zumwalt, who has served as Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the past five years, returned to full-time teaching and research on July 15, 2000.

Karen Zumwalt, who has served as Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the past five years, returned to full-time teaching and research on July 15, 2000. After a one-year sabbatical, Zumwalt will return to the College in the fall of 2001 and continue as Evenden Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.

During the search for a new Dean, Edmund Gordon has agreed to serve as Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs of the College. Professor Emeritus Gary Griffin has also agreed to provide consultant time over the next two years to support faculty efforts in responding to the required re-registration of the College's master's degree programs in teacher education and the NCATE accreditation of all the College's programs which prepare school personnel.

In a letter to the TC community on June 13, President Levine wrote, "During her tenure, no one at TC worked harder or longer than Karen. Her deanship has been a time in which the college embarked upon a number of major initiatives including the academic reorganization, the development of five year plans for each department, the creation of the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation, the establishment of the Rita Gold Child Care Center, the standing tenure and promotion committees, the development of professorships of research and practice, the reaccreditation of all the College's teacher education programs, and searches for more than 40 percent of the TC faculty."

He continued, "I am very grateful to Karen for her five years of service. The entire college community owes her an enormous debt of gratitude."


As Zumwalt looked back on her tenure during an interview, she spoke of the impact of faculty searches over the last five years. "While it was overwhelming to have more than 20 searches over repetitive years, I am pleased that the process was rigorous and proactive. And it has been especially rewarding to bring so many wonderful new faculty to the College."

She feels particularly proud of her initiative in developing the Minority Postdoctoral Program, which annually brings two outstanding minority scholars to the College to help them jumpstart their careers. "It's been an incredibly successful program and it's been rewarding for these individuals. The College has been enriched by their presence."

Another point of pride is having been awarded two Spencer Research Training Grants, totaling $2.1 million, 90 percent of which is allocated to direct student aid. The grants are helping TC improve the preparation of doctoral students who are planning careers as educational researchers.

Believing that exemplary teaching should receive as much attention as scholarly accomplishments, Zumwalt initiated annual recognition of faculty who receive exceptional course evaluations. She also believes that good teaching has become a more salient criterion in hiring and personnel decisions.

Zumwalt summed up her accomplishments as being an active facilitator of the teaching, research and service missions of the College in terms of community building. "I am touched by how many people feel I was able to make them feel part of our community."

On June 16, The Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) met to discuss Zumwalt's departure and wrote to the President, "We are unanimous in our appreciation of the intellectual stature, commitment to the College, and dedication to the faculty that have characterized Dean Zumwalt's service. We are particularly mindful of her energetic defense of the right of faculty to be involved in policy making and governance of the institution and want to publicly thank her for her work."

By June 26, the President, the FEC and the department chairs agreed on the design for the search for a new Dean of the College. The 11-member search committee will consist of six faculty members, two senior administrators, one student, one member of the professional staff and will be chaired by the President.

Three faculty members, at the request of FEC, were elected in September. They are A. Lin Goodwin, Gita Steiner-Khamsi, and Ann Gentile. The other three faculty members, chosen by the department chairs, are Chuck Basch, James Borland, and Robert Carter. The President has appointed Vice President for Development and External Affairs Joseph Brosnan and Vice President for Finance and Administration Fred Schnur. The Professional Staff Assembly appointed Diane Katanik, Department Associate for Human Development. The student government appointed Mitchell Barlas. Scott Fahey, Secretary of the College and Assistant to the President, and Sheba Bacot, Administrative Assistant to the President, will also be in attendance.

GORDON AND GRIFFIN Edmund Gordon is the Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education and was a professor at Teachers College from 1968 to 1979. At that time he was director of the Institute on Urban and Minority Education. He also served as a division and department chair. Following his tenure at TC , Gordon was the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at City University of New York. He recently returned to TC as a counsel to the TC Target of Opportunity committee. He is also adviser to the President of the College Board. GARY GRIFFIN, who retired from TC last year, first came to the College in 1970, after spending nine years as a teacher and elementary school administrator and after receiving his Ed.D. from UCLA. He left TC in the early 1980s to be the Director of Research in Teacher Education at the University of Texas at Austin. He returned to TC in 1996 after spending five years as the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois, and six as chair of the Department of Teaching and Teaching Education at the University of Arizona. After his return, he was Professor of Education and Director of NCREST (the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching).

Published Saturday, May. 18, 2002


More Stories