November 21, 2019

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am pleased to announce the search committee for the dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. This is an important position for our campus because it brings to life our critical academic mission. As the most senior position in academic administration at the college, the dean of the faculty reports to me and serves as second-in-command.

Faculty Conference and I have agreed that this search should be open to candidates from both the Trinity community and beyond. Consistent with previous practice, Faculty Conference has selected faculty members to serve on the search committee. With input from Faculty Conference, I have selected members of the administration to serve as well. The members of the search committee are:

  • Suzanne Aber, Vice President, Information Services and Chief Information Officer
  • Ciaran Berry, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program
  • Carol Clark, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Anita Davis, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Hebe Guardiola-Diaz, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience
  • Jane Nadel-Klein, Professor of Anthropology
  • Allison Read, College Chaplain
  • Paula Russo, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Maurice Wade, Professor of Philosophy

Jason Rojas, chief of staff in my office and associate vice president for external affairs, will provide administrative support to the committee.

Given the importance of the dean of the faculty role to the entire campus, I will set aside time to be involved in multiple stages of the search process. With input from the search committee, I will choose a search firm to assist us. The search committee will report to me and choose its own chair, and it will provide me with at least three unranked finalists for consideration. As part of the selection process, finalists will meet with selected trustees and members of the campus community.

The approximate search timeline, which admittedly is quite aggressive, is as follows:

  • November/December: Seek input from the community and finalize the search process and criteria.
  • January/February: Recruit and interview candidates.
  • March/April: Check references and extend an offer.

As this critical search gets under way, I want to express my gratitude to Sonia Cardenas, who continues to serve very ably in the interim, as well as to Dean of Academic Affairs Anne Lambright for her steadfast support of the office and to Irene Papoulis, Tennyson O’Donnell, Sarah Raskin, and Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, who are serving in faculty director roles this year and advancing several key academic initiatives. I look forward to keeping you apprised as this search progresses and especially to naming a strong, visionary leader to this role in the spring.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience