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.