News | Administration

Dean Moody-Adams steps down

Last update: Monday, 10:45 p.m.

Michele Moody-Adams has resigned as dean of Columbia College, she announced in an email on Saturday.

In the sharply worded email, Moody-Adams said that coming changes to the University's structure would "ultimately compromise the College's academic quality and
financial health," and that she had submitted her resignation effective June 30, 2012. But on Monday morning, University President Lee Bollinger said that he had requested she step down immediately.

"In her position as dean and vice president, we had looked forward to her playing a central role in shaping the academic administration of the College to ensure the finest educational experience for our students, and had hoped that she would be a key voice in the ongoing discussions involving faculty, alumni and administrators about how to position the College even more centrally in the life of Columbia's Faculty of Arts & Sciences," Bollinger said.

The announcements mark the end of Moody-Adams' short tenure. Moody-Adams came from Cornell University, where she had been vice-provost for undergraduate education, and became Columbia's first female and first African-American dean of the College in July 2009. She took over for Austin Quigley, who had served as dean since 1995.

In a 2009 statement following Moody-Adams' appointment, Quigley wrote, "She has a splendid record of academic and administrative achievement and has all the abilities needed to sustain the momentum of the College’s progress.”

Two years later, Moody-Adams made clear that she did not approve of the way that momentum was shifting. In her email, she implied that Arts and Sciences would soon be taking over policy, fundraising, and budget responsibilities that she currently oversees independently, and said that her concerns about those changes had not been taken seriously.

"Just a very few days ago, it was made clear to me that the
structural transformations intended to fundamentally alter decision-making
in and for the College cannot be stopped," she wrote. "I believe in offering my best as an administrator, educator and scholar and
in doing the right things by the constituents I serve. Columbia is developing a structure that will no longer allow me to do that as Dean."

Members of the Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate said they were saddened by Moody-Adams' resignation in a statement on Monday morning.

“The resignation of a major Columbia dean, such as that of Columbia College, affects the entire student body, and the Student Affairs Committee will work with all stakeholders, especially relevant student leaders, on common next steps,” said Adil Ahamed, SAC co-chair and Business ’12.

Moody-Adams indicated that she would stay at Columbia's philosophy department as the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory, a chair she currently holds.

She is the second high-profile administrator to step down in the last two months. In June, Provost Claude Steele announced that he was resigning to become the dean of Stanford University's School of Education.

Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Schollenberger said in a statement that he would be meeting with student leaders and administrators to work on the transition.

Check back for updates.

news@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

Why does it feel like it definitely is Columbia/Bollinger that is in the wrong here?

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Anonymous posted on

Fuck them all.

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Anonymous posted on

Could you say how you really feel?

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Anonymous posted on

Unfortunately, she was not a team player.  When she realized she was not really the Queen, just an Administrator, she tried to embarrass Columbia College by sending out a sharply worded email to the entire alumnae. She should have waited and issued a joint statement - but this shows she cares only about her own ego and nothing about the institution. That is why President Bollinger asked her to step down immediately.  

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Anonymous posted on

She will fit like a glove in Obama's administration.

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Anonymous posted on

Contributor Wlouche.....  Exactly WHAT's the connection to the Obama administration?  Other than the rude and crude machinations in your mind, how is this in any way related to Obama?

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Anonymous posted on

No "i" in "team" ?

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Anonymous posted on

See what happens if you are one of the TOKEN Blacks in Bollinger's Administration!!!

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Anonymous posted on

Having been involved with Columbia for more than 65 years, I cast my vote for Dean Moody-Adams who has been a breath of fresh air to the college. The University would be best served if (P)resident Bollinger would resign at once.

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Anonymous posted on

Yes. time for Bollinger to go.  He has been a serious problem for Columbia almost from his
first day here while enriching himself with whopping salary increases for himself.  

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Anonymous posted on

Type your comment here. I  have been involved with Columbia for only 56 years, but am in total agreement with Loyal alumnus.  Bollinger has become a serious embarrassment to Columbia. 

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Anonymous posted on

I'm interesting in the things not said in this article. As in what specific policies did she not agree with? How would they affect the student's learning or the academic structure. It's a very difficult thing for a professor do to and isn't taken lightly. Why give it all up? Interesting...

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Anonymous posted on

its unfortunate that increasingly work is not about work anymore....people and politics wrestling for power and ideology is what its all come down to. some might state i am a reckless nave but look around you...those are our preoccupations and inclinations...to build fiefdoms...unfortunately even at places of higher education.

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Anonymous posted on

As a college alumnus and member of the financial community for over 25 years, I cannot believe these endless skirmishes with the university are simply about power and domain.  They usually are about money.  Specifically, Kluge's sizeable gift was given to the college, right?  Does the college control that money?

Most universities list their endowments by school/faculty.  Columbia does not: I cannot find any breakdown of the endowment at all.  This, I suspect, is what is going on.

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Anonymous posted on

The structural changes that would occur would allow graduate schools and other colleges within the CU umbrella to take advantage of donations given directly to the college.

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Anonymous posted on

The whole gang might as well vacate the Uni--i don't...

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Anonymous posted on

Just speculation, but the level of angst Dean Moody-Adams showed by sending that email directly to Alumni/ae is suggestive of a genuine concern for Columbia College, not her own ego. 

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Anonymous posted on

maybe she doesn't want to be associated with a school that won't fire a prof for being criminally convicted of having SEX WITH HIS OWN DAUGHTER ( David Epstein)but wants to reprimand her for some small slight to the big cheese.
Anybody taking a class of Pro Epstein this year? Seen him around campus?What up with that perv?

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