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Folt appointed Dean of Faculty

Published June 28, 2004; Category: ADMINISTRATION

Biologist will serve for two-year interim term

Carol L. Folt, Professor of Biological Sciences, has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for a two-year interim period, following a decision by former Dean Michael S. Gazzaniga to step down after two years of service in that position. Folt served as Dean of Graduate Studies for three years before accepting her new post.

Carol Folt
Carol L. Folt

"I am very grateful to Dean Folt for agreeing to serve at this time and look forward to working with her and her colleagues in the Dean of Faculty Office," President James Wright said in announcing the appointment to the faculty.

Wright noted that Folt will serve the final two years of the dean's usual four-year term. He said, "Following consultation with members of the Committee Advisory to the President and the Committee on Organization and Policy, and with their strong encouragement, I have decided to make this a two-year appointment. The COP intends to continue next year with a thorough review of faculty governance, which will include discussion of the responsibilities and the role of the dean of faculty. The members of this committee believe it critical that this discussion occur prior to a search for a new dean. We will institute a search for a dean in 2005-2006 under the terms set out in the Organization of the Faculty of Dartmouth College (OFDC)."

Wright also said the three current associate deans for the three divisions of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences - Lenore Grenoble (Associate Dean for the Humanities), Michael Mastanduno (Associate Dean for the Social Sciences) and Martin Wybourne (Associate Dean for the Sciences) - will continue in their positions, although Wybourne will become Vice Provost for Research, under a previously announced plan, following a transitional period.

"We are extremely fortunate to have such a strong and experienced team in place," Wright said. "They are committed to my goals for strengthening the faculty and will build upon Dean Gazzaniga's accomplishments." Wright noted the importance of Arts and Sciences priorities in the upcoming comprehensive fund-raising campaign, including faculty expansion, competitive faculty compensation, new support for teaching and scholarship, and new facilities in the life sciences and the arts.

"We are extremely fortunate to have such a strong and experienced team in place. They are committed to my goals for strengthening the faculty and will build upon Dean Gazzaniga's accomplishments."

- President James Wright

In a letter to the faculty, Folt said she and the associate deans are "... looking forward to working with you on the campaign goals President Wright has approved for Arts and Sciences.... These campaign initiatives are our highest priorities." She added that her goals are "to ensure that the great potential of our faculty is realized," and to engage in a "healthy, constructive dialogue and debate about all the vital aspects of our professional work in research and teaching. The excitement of discovery is what draws us into academia. This should permeate every corner of the campus. It is in this context that I look forward to hearing from you and working with you over the next two years."

Folt came to Dartmouth in 1983 as an assistant professor of biological sciences following graduate research in environmental biology and ecology at the University of California, Davis, where she earned a doctorate, and a postdoctoral fellowship at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University. An aquatic environmental scientist, she has published more than 50 articles, a book and edited volume, and has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She has served on numerous NSF review panels and on the editorial boards of various scholarly journals in her field, as well as in elected positions in the Ecological Society of America and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.

Folt was appointed dean of graduate studies in 2001 and is currently also the associate director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences and of the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program. She was awarded the J. Kenneth Huntington Memorial Prize for Teaching in 1991 and has advised more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in her laboratory. She played a critical role in the founding and development of the Women in Science Project, which encourages undergraduate women to major in the sciences. In addition, she served as a trustee for the Montshire Museum of Science for six years and is the first-year lecturer for the incoming Class of 2008. Folt is married to Professor David Peart in the Department of Biological Sciences, and they have two children.

Wright announced to the faculty and staff on June 4 that Gazzaniga had decided to step down as Dean of the Faculty, effective as soon as a new dean could be appointed, amidst faculty discussions about governance and the role of the dean.

Wright said Gazzaniga "has brought great strength to Dartmouth as the David T. McLaughlin Distinguished University Professor and the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. He has recently received two major research grants and will continue his path-breaking work in cognitive neuroscience. He will also be continuing his work as the recently elected President of the American Psychological Society and as a member of President George Bush's Council on Bioethics.

"I would like to thank Mike for his work as dean for the past two years where he has championed faculty scholarship and has expanded the number and ambitions of the faculty," said Wright. "He has worked to resolve pressing space needs for several departments. He has encouraged cross-disciplinary connections within the Arts and Sciences and with the professional schools, which he will continue to do as the only University Professor at Dartmouth."

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Last Updated: 12/17/08