Dartmouth administrator Adrian Randolph named new Weinberg dean

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

Adrian Randolph has been appointed the new dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern announced Tuesday morning.

Randolph, who currently serves as associate dean of the Faculty for the Arts and Humanities at Dartmouth College, was selected after an arduous search that spanned 10 months and included input from members of the Northwestern community including students and faculty, said Provost Daniel Linzer. Linzer said Randolph was ultimately selected for his ability and interest in multi-disciplinary academics.

Randolph will assume his new role July 1. The University has been searching for a new Weinberg dean since April 2014, when former dean Sarah Mangelsdorf announced she would be the new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Randolph taught art history at Dartmouth and is an expert in medieval and Renaissance Italy. He has written, edited or co-authored eight books and various papers. He has also served on the international advisory board of the journal Art History and the University Press of New England.

A graduate of Princeton University, the University of London and Harvard University, Randolph is interested in global research and the creation of global solutions.

The selection process comprised several rounds of interviews and research into what was needed in a candidate. English Prof. Wendy Wall, chair of the search committee, said in an email to The Daily that a key concern during the process was finding someone who would “catalyze research and teaching carried across all of the divisions in the college — from the humanities to the social sciences to the sciences.”

Linzer said Randolph’s focus on a liberal arts education and his cross-disciplinary work made him a major contender for the job. He said he and Randolph discussed the growing pressures in higher education.

“One of the fundamental challenges in the college is to be quite positive … (about) the value of a liberal arts education and the importance of that model for our students,” Linzer said, “because I firmly believe that it is the best way to prepare for the wide range of things that students will do in the future.”

Linzer, who made the ultimate decision out of the pool of finalists, said Randolph’s enthusiasm for students and higher education made him stand out from the finalists.

“All the finalists were terrific. I don’t mean to take away from any of them,” Linzer said. “(Randolph) just exhumes all of this energy about undergraduate education. He also cares deeply about graduate education and the work of the scholarship and research and creative activities that go on in a university like Northwestern.”

Linzer said responses from students who had interviewed Randolph helped make the decision.

“I was really struck by the comments of students who met with him of how engaged he was and how much he cares about students,” he said.

Student participation was key in the selection of the new dean as part an initiative pushed by the Associated Student Government, the Office of the Provost and the Weinberg Student Advisory Board.

Lindsay Jagla, Weinberg senior and co-chair of the Student Advisory Board, said four undergraduate students and two graduate students participated in the search committee.

“We worked with ASG, who really wanted to get more student involvement in the dean search … and the Provost’s Office wanted the Weinberg Student Advisory Board to get more involved because we do represent every department of Weinberg,” Jagla said. “They wanted the students to come from SAB, so we held an application process … and chose students to serve as student interviewers.”

ASG President Julia Watson, a Weinberg senior, said she hopes Randolph will help push the Social Inequalities and Diversities curriculum requirement proposal that is currently being discussed by Weinberg faculty.

“I really think that the new dean honestly needs to come in ready to listen to students,” Watson said.

This post was updated with additional information at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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