Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dean Tom Crady to Resign

Provost Barry Scherr just sent a campus-wide blitz informing us of Dean of the College Tom Crady's decision to resign:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Tom Crady has resigned as Dean of the College, effective this week. Sylvia Spears, who has been a significant contributor in providing student support in the Dean of the College area, will serve as Acting Dean for a period of two years.

I know that the decision to leave Dartmouth has been a difficult one for Tom and his family. Tom started at Dartmouth in January 2008, after serving 10 years as Vice President of Student Services at Grinnell College in Iowa, where he had worked for more than 25 years. Tom has decided to return to Iowa to pursue other opportunities.

I want to thank Tom for his service, for his commitment to improving the student experience, and for the many innovations he has introduced in his 18 months on campus, including the reform of the COS system, his reorganization of the student deans, and his decision as the Dean of the College to be more accessible by holding regular office hours in Collis for undergraduates. He
brought to the job a great deal of energy, a willingness to embrace change, and a true enthusiasm for his work with students.

In the coming months we intend to examine the scope of responsibilities in this critical area; only after completing that process will we launch a national search for the new Dean.

Sylvia joined Dartmouth as Director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership/Associate of Student Life in July 2007. This past year, she also served as Acting Senior Associate Dean of the College with responsibility for guiding academic support programs and outreach to faculty. Sylvia's expertise is student development, with particular emphasis on factors that contribute to the success of students. Sylvia holds a Ph.D. in Education, an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, and a B.A. in Speech Communications. Before coming to Dartmouth, Sylvia held a faculty position in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Rhode Island, where she taught courses in counseling, research methods, higher education law and cultural competence.

As we get ready to begin a new academic year on September 24, we will continue to look to the Dean of the College area to complete the process of putting in place the new student dean system, to carry out an ongoing assessment of existing programs and services, and to work on strategies for ensuring student success.

I want to take this opportunity to wish Tom well and to express my appreciation for what he accomplished in his time at Dartmouth.

At this time, I would also like to thank each and every member of the staff of the Dean of the College area, for their professionalism and support during this transition. I have every confidence in that office, and in Sylvia, as together we seek to provide an extraordinary educational experience for the students of Dartmouth.

Sincerely,

Barry Scherr
Provost

I'll be quite sad to see him go - The Review interviewed Dean Crady last year and was impressed with his open-mindedness regarding such topics as alcohol policy, Greek life, and COS reform, and I know many students appreciated his weekly open office hours.

19 comments:

Bitter said...

"I want to thank Tom for his service, for his commitment to improving the student experience" AND for his giving the finger to the college after only 18 months of service.

Tom Crady was a great Dean. But why leave now? What gives, dude? If he's not going back to Iowa as President of Grinnell or Iowa State I'll never understand why he left Dartmouth.

The man's really leaving us in a lurch. Just 18 months after finishing our last search for Dean of the College we now have to start the process all over again. This is especially frustrating since most of his projects, like the new Alcohol Management Procedure (AMP), are unfinished. This reform (which would have substantially liberalized the alcohol regulation on this campus) will now probably lose all momentum.

Also, during his short time here Tom had a strong positive effect on student-administration relations. Most importantly, he understood and accepted the Greek system and knew how to work with it, not against it, to improve our campus. Will these advances be lost?

Who knows what the interim and new Deans will be like. I honestly doubt that we will be able to find someone of Crady's caliber to replace him. I'm disappointed--and afraid--to see him go.

Anonymous said...

This is a devastating loss for Dartmouth and the football program. Tom was a true student services professional and a supporter of football. He got it!
He understood how students really live and was not an academic that decided to become a Dean.
If the College precipitated this I will be extremely upset.
Now we get the former Director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership/Associate of Student Life! I'll bet she will be real comfortable on Webster Avenue.
And why does it take 2 years to hire a dean?

Anonymous said...

Either he is going to be president of Grinnell or his wife was homesick. Tough loss for us.

Who convinced Kim it will take two years to find someone else? The Spears-backers, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

The excruciating search process that resulted in the hiring of Dean Crady was completely self-inflicted and completely unnecessary and doesn't need to be repeated.

This time, simply advertise the position in the press. Dartmouth will be flooded with applications from superb candidates, eager to be considered for this good job. I guarantee it.

Why in the world should finding a replacement Dean take Two Years? They replaced the last Pope in seventeen days!

How about replacing the Provost too?

Anonymous said...

Hey, if it isn't obvious to everyone now that Crady bailed because he couldn't get anything done with the idiots in the present administration (all Wright holdovers), then it never will be.

Kim has to clean house completely and get rid of ALL of the top people that are leftovers from the Wright era.

Anonymous said...

Andy Harvard's firing and Crady's resignation after such a short time point to a common problem... the politically-correct bureaucrats who put their administrative agenda ahead of students.

The stink starts with a rubber-stamping Board controlled by a small number who bought their way there, then spreads thru the administrators and their toady supporters among alumni activists. Wonder if Jim Kim will be a part of the problem, or try to institute real change and if the latter is possible.

Anonymous said...

Dean Crady was a mis-hire from Day One. He had lived all of the previous twenty-five years of his life in Grinnell, Iowa; he was an Iowa Hawkeye through and through.

Did anyone really expect that Mr. Crady was going to make a successful family relocation from friendly Iowa to pretentious Hanover, New Hampshire?

If you remember back, there were warning signs from the very beginning when Mr. Crady noticeably dragged his feet about taking his kids out of the Iowa schools and physically moving the family to Hanover.

This hire reflects very badly on the Search Committee; anybody remember who was on it? They have got some explaining to do.

And if Dartmouth paid a fee to an executive search firm, they should be asking for their money back.

Good luck to Dean Crady; "There's No Place Like Home".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those short-sleeved dress shirts gave him away from the start.

We need someone pretentious and PC. Should be easy to find.

Anonymous said...

Hanover NH in the north woods used to have things in common with Grinnel Iowa. Then came the Interstates making it closer to Boston and NYC, USNews rankings, and pretention. The town and the college are both the less for this, no matter how sophisticated on the surface.

Can anyone cut through the press release pablum and offer facts behind Crady's decision? He was a fresh presence in a sea of PC-motivated mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

The asylum inmates in charge obviously fear a strong leader to replace Crady. That is why one reads in their statements the idiocy of having a temporary dean spend two years restructuring everything before hiring a permanent replacement.

If they truly wanted success, they would simply define the role and mission for the dean's office, and then hire a strong competent person who would implement his or her own structure to achieve it.

Perhaps it takes longer to find a willing toady who also has a decent resume. Hence a 2-year search.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I might be able to help out an earlier poster. Being old and cynical - I have worked at several universities and have done a tour of duty through Parkhurst - I can only say I suspect a Trumpian, 'You're fired!'

'Being with family' or 'the opportunity to explore other projects' is the traditional the fig leaf for being canned in order that one secures a 'career-enhancing reference' on abrupt departure. Making public your firing, let alone contesting it, is a career-killer. (Losing your job through budget cuts, as Gail Zimmerman did, is a wholly different matter.) Besides, who would cheerily go off into unemployment in this job market, as Crady apparently has? As for the red-herring that the presidency of Grinnell is somehow in play, please! However popular Crady was at Grinnell, he has no academic heft and 'student affairs' folks never rise to lead an institution. Besides, he could apply for it in post here, if he were daft enough to do so.

Several other details are also odd. By chance I found myself looking at the webpage of the DofC's 'Central Office' a few weeks ago; as of yesterday, not only has Crady disappeared but so also has Marcia Kelly as Associate Dean of Development and Administration - the Assistant Dean to this still laughingly boasts of 'assisting' the now spectral Dean Kelly! - and Kate Burke as Special Assistant to the Dean of College (she had been senior enough to be Acting Senior Associate Dean during Nelson's stop-gapping after Larimore). These two senior women have worked at Dartmouth for years; where are they? So hasty has been their apparent departure that the online College Directory still lists them there with their respective titles.

And when was Spears made 'Acting Senior Associate Dean' (so The D), the platform from which she has just ascended? Pretty damn recently, since she is on the Directory still as Associate Dean of Student Life and Director of OPAL. And who put her in this new Office? Crady, while he was having all the Hamlet-like doubts about staying in Hanover? Or Scheer bending to the 'diversity' imperative?

Attentive readers may recall Crady had to wait months after his interview as Scheer and the search committee chased a range of minority females who did not want to be courted. So they had to settle for the white guy (a bitter irony to Nelson who in yet another earlier Dean of College search was said to have been told not to apply for the real version of the Acting DoC-ship he was currently doing since the College wanted, you guessed it, more 'diversity').

So if Spears is there to spend two years rearranging the deck chairs on this Titanic, it appears that a lot of interior redecoration has already occurred. And by whom? Prediction: she will still be Dean of College by the time all of you graduate. And the College will be a very different place.

Addendum: verifying my details I now see that Burke and Kelly have been scrubbed from the Directory; they were there yesterday. Perhaps they have gone off 'to explore other opportunities' too. Why were they part of this pogrom?

SA '09 said...

Burke was supposed to leave the college at the end of the 2007-2008 academic year, but instead decided to stay at the college and received a one year assignment to serve as Special Assistant to the Dean of the College - ironically to help with Crady's (incoming) transition. So her departure was long-planned, before Jim Kim was chosen. As for Marcia Kelly, no idea.

The Review's take on this is wrong though. Who cares about office hours with students if all it leads to is assurances from Crady and no follow-up? Crady was incredibly ineffectual. He's been sitting on AMP for the past 5 terms and implemented virtual nothing during his tenure. His resignation will end up being a good thing, getting rid of deadweight in the college's leadership. What this means is that power is being consolidated under Scherr, a good thing from my perspective (though Joe Asch disagrees on Dartblog).

Anonymous said...

Maybe Crady left because he realized he was ineffectual, due to the environment. Hard to accomplish things when your hands are tied by the entrenched bureaucrats, especially when they have support from the top. Who wants to stay in an unfulfilling job?

Nice to see that Asch has revived Dartblog.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of ineffectual, can anyone point out one decisive act of leadership by the current Provost, beyond various press statements in reaction to campus developments? Yet he gets two years of additional high salary to provide "continuity", which could be provided at no incremental cost from the friendly confines of the Russian poetry department.

Higher salaries for administrators should be justified because the burdens of additional responsibility which they bear lessens the supply of those willing to do so. Once a departure is announced, the weight of responsibility is gone; salary continuation is essentially a reward for past performance. Two years is over-the-top, even for a "nice guy". And it is a joke to need two years to complete a search for a permanent provost, or a dean of the college, director of athletics, VP of investments, OPAL head, and other administrative pooh-bahs.

Samantha M. said...

As a Grinnell Alum who worked with then Dean Crady on student programming I know Dartmouth made a huge mistake.

However it is not unexpected. Tom Crady had a philosophy that would scare many institutions. He believed that students were adults who should be treated with respect and take responsibility for their decisions. He had high expectations and treated students as adults capable of meeting those standards.

As a professional who works in Student Affairs I can tell you this is not how most Colleges and Universities view students. Most colleges and Universities believe the role of Student Affairs is to police students.

Dartmouth probably expected Dean Crady to keep students in line rather than provide a comprehensive student life program.

Their loss will be another College's gain.

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ايفون said...

this is very sad TOM its not the good time to leave

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be a Johnny-come-lately...

As a Grinnell alum, I can say I owe a lot to Tom Crady - probably my life (literally). There are few people on this Earth I would take a bullet for. Tom is one of them.

I know nothing of the circumstances at Darmouth that caused him to resign (and I do say "caused" because Tom did not make the decision to leave Grinnell lightly, and certainly wouldn't just quit Dartmouth).

It is a shame he isn't the new President of Grinnell (I submitted his name to the search committee for consideration). Any school would be lucky to have him.

Quite honestly, two years seems like a very long time before hiring a replacement, but Dartmouth has some serious issues that need serious introspection (all these posts, as well as Tom's departure, indicate that).

Perhaps you do need to replace the Provost, to revamp the whole system of Deans, to reevaluate student life altogether. I don't know. I have never been to Dartmouth. But if Tom can't make it work, no one can. Something else has to change.

BTW, Grinnell replaced its President without spending copious money.

-Daniel Grossberg