Announcement Regarding Jeanette Takamura, Dean of the School of Social Work

August 01, 2016

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I write to share with you that Jeanette Takamura, Dean of the School of Social Work, has informed me that she will be stepping down from her position on December 31, 2016, after successfully leading the School for 15 years.

Dean Takamura’s leadership during this period has resulted in important advances on several fronts, including new academic programming dedicated to strengthening the global and interdisciplinary character of the School. The nine research centers established under her direction are found on our own campus and locations around the world. They offer the Social Work faculty greatly enhanced opportunities to educate, serve, and collaborate on research with colleagues from Columbia’s Morningside and Medical Center campuses and with academic partners from other universities here and abroad. This has occurred at the same time that the School has expanded its longstanding commitment to serving Harlem and Bronx neighborhoods through pioneering initiatives and partnerships.

The great strides forward in the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversification of the School’s faculty—an objective inseparable from achieving the highest levels of academic excellence—have been supported by a rigorous mentoring program for junior professors resulting in a record number of faculty earning tenure during Jeanette’s time as Dean. Perhaps the greatest testament to any dean’s leadership is found in the contributions to society made by a school’s faculty and graduates, and, by this measure, the School of Social Work has been flourishing. The School’s faculty members are routinely sought by government and non-governmental organizations for their leadership and expertise in addressing society’s most challenging problems, including poverty, criminal justice, and the education and training of youth in developing countries. And, for more than a decade, a Washington-based leadership program has been placing talented and public-spirited alumni in consequential policymaking positions throughout the federal government.

Jeanette plans to take a well-earned leave upon concluding her term as Dean and subsequently will return to her position as a full-time tenured member of the faculty that she has led with such dedication. I know that she is looking forward to resuming her teaching and research, and we are delighted that Jeanette will remain an important part of the Columbia community. I will soon convene a search committee to assist in the identification of her successor. For now, on behalf of the University, I simply want to congratulate Jeanette on a job well done and thank her for her exemplary service.


Lee C. Bollinger