Dear colleagues, staff, and friends of the College,


As Provost Staros announced this morning, he has invited me to serve as Vice
Provost for Academic Personnel and Dean of the Faculty here at UMass Amherst
and I have accepted his invitation. This position begins January 2010. As
the Provost also indicated, I will continue to serve as Dean of CHFA through
the Spring term. I am very pleased that I will have this opportunity to
continue to serve CHFA and help advance the progress of the College on all
fronts. We've made great progress and I want to see that progress secured
and other new initiatives advanced to benefit our students and faculty. Our
good work continues.


I am also happy to report that Julie Hayes, our Chair of Languages,
Literatures & Cultures, has accepted my offer to serve as Interim Executive
Associate Dean to help ease this transition. I want to thank the Department
of LLC for sharing Julie with CHFA for the next six months. She's an
internationally renowned scholar and an exceptional administrator. As chair
of LLC, she has deftly helped five formerly autonomous and strong units come
together as a vital, high functioning department. I look forward to working
with her in the new year in a new way.


Our CHFA Associate Deans, Nikki Stoia, Donna Lecourt, and Ron Michaud, will
also continue to strengthen CHFA, along with our superb CHFA staff, great
department heads, chairs, and directors. The College and its departments
are in very good hands. This makes me feel confident about taking on this
new role now.


That said, my decision to accept this new position was not made lightly; I
am deeply committed to the College and have thoroughly enjoyed the last
three and a half years serving as your Dean. And though I know that every
important choice- -even a choice that guarantees positive personal and
professional growth--comes with its own form of loss, I have now served as a
Dean of large colleges at major public universities for nearly six years,
and it does seem like the time is right to explore a new challenge and seek
to make new contributions to higher education. That I can do this at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst is truly wonderful. This is a rare
opportunity and I am most honored and humbled to have been asked to serve
this campus in this important capacity. I look forward to working closely
with Provost Staros and everyone else here at the university on behalf of
the entirety of our stellar faculty. This is a great place and I want to do
all I can to make it even better, in my current role and in my new one.


Go CHFA! Go UMass!


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!