James Valentini Named Interim Dean of Columbia College

September 02, 2011

To the Columbia College Community:

I am pleased to announce that Professor James Valentini will assume the responsibilities of Dean of the College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education on an interim basis.

A member of Columbia’s faculty since 1991, Professor Valentini led Columbia’s Chemistry Department as chair from 2005 until 2008 and currently is director of the department’s undergraduate studies program.  Jim is a decorated scholar, having been selected in 2009 by his peers as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and earlier as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his research involving chemical reaction dynamics.  His two decades at Columbia have been marked by a love of teaching undergraduates and dedication to supporting their intellectual journey at the College.  Jim was for many years an active member of the University Senate, served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Diversity Initiatives, has been Chair of the Arts and Sciences Academic Review Committee, Chair of the College Committee on Science Instruction, a member of the Committee on the Core and the College Committee on Instruction, faculty representative to the Alumni Association Board, and has worked with many other groups on curriculum matters, undergraduate affairs, faculty governance, and tenure.

I want to thank Michele Moody-Adams for her service as the Dean of the College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education and for her devotion to the College and its students.  Though she made her resignation effective on June 30, 2012, I concluded it was in the best interests of the College that it become effective immediately so that an interim dean could be appointed and in place by the beginning of the academic year.  Michele has graciously agreed to help with the transition and to be available to consult with the interim dean for the remainder of the academic year.  She will, of course, continue to serve as Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory in the Philosophy Department.

I will keep you informed about the progress of our search for a permanent Dean of the College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education.  For the present, please join me in thanking Michele Moody-Adams for her service and Jim Valentini for his willingness to serve on an interim basis.


Lee C. Bollinger