March 14, 2019

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

I write to share the news that Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Cresswell has been appointed to the Ogilvie Chair in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh. The fifth Ogilvie Professor at Edinburgh, he will begin his new position on July 1.

This is a loss for Trinity but a considerable achievement for Tim, for the Ogilvie Chair is one of a small handful of named chairs in geography, awarded to geographers with outstanding research profiles. The chair is currently occupied by the retiring Professor Charles Withers, the Geographer Royal for Scotland.

Tim’s exceptional scholarship was well-known to us when he joined Trinity in July 2016 from Northeastern University in Boston, where he had served as associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, professor of history and international affairs, and associate director for public humanities at the Northeastern Humanities Center. The author or editor of 12 books, he is an internationally regarded geographer who studies issues of place and mobility. He holds not one but two Ph.D.s, one in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a second in English from Royal Holloway, University of London.

I am deeply grateful for the steadfastness, energy, and intelligence that Tim brought to his work and for his many contributions to the strengthening of our academic community. He was instrumental in the development of our new mission statement and our strategic plan, and he has pursued with passion the curricular review that will help ensure the continued relevance of Trinity’s strong curriculum. He also has attended carefully to issues of shared governance and the needs of our faculty—increasing salaries, supporting research opportunities for faculty and students—and championed the launch of such distinctive initiatives as the Liberal Arts Action Lab and the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER).

The future academic leadership of the college is, of course, a primary consideration. I will begin collecting input from college constituents, especially the faculty and board, to determine next steps in the search for Trinity’s next chief academic officer. Recognizing that selecting a new chief academic officer is an important task that will take time, within the next month, I will name an interim dean and vice president who can lead the office and continue its work on numerous, critical fronts.

On behalf of the entire Trinity community, I extend my sincere appreciation to Tim for his service to Trinity, and I wish all the best to him and to his family as they embark on this great new adventure in Scotland.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience