Professor Robert Wilson was named the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Divinity School Wednesday.
Wilson, who holds the Hoober Professorship of Religious Studies, will replace professor David L. Bartlett, who recently stepped down after 10 years on the job.
“I thought this was a good opportunity and it’s a key time in the school’s history,” Wilson said.
Wilson, who will assume his new post on July 11, 2004, is no amateur when it comes to administrative duties. A member of Yale’s faculty since 1972, Wilson spent seven years as the chair of the Department of Religious Studies and also played a major role in the rebuilding of the Divinity School Quadrangle.
Wilson also teaches a course on the Old Testament Hebrew Bible and has published four books on the subject.
As Dean of Academic Affairs, Wilson said he hopes to continue “a long tradition of excellence academically.”
As a first order of business, Wilson said he plans to familiarize himself with the faculty members and their research, particularly in the subject areas in which he has little experience.
“We want to nourish the faculty,” Wilson said. “I’ve always thought it the job of administrators, and especially the academic dean, to do what is necessary to let the faculty to their job.”
Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge, who announced Wilson’s promotion, said Wilson is an excellent choice for the position. Attridge cited Wilson’s experience as both an administrator and faculty member.
“[Wilson] is a great guy and has a lot of experience around here,” Attridge said.
Attridge said Wilson has already earned the respect of the faculty during his professorship at the Divinity School, and described Wilson as “a great team player.”
“I think we’ll take the Divinity School to new heights with him at the helm of academic affairs,” Attridge said.
Despite his new responsibilities, Wilson said he will keep teaching his Old Testament Hebrew Bible course, and he also said he intends to proceed in his research for a two-volume work on the Bible’s Book of Kings.
Bartlett will return to a faculty position in July 2004, after his decade-long stint as associate dean. Attridge said he was not surprised by Bartlett’s decision to retire from his post, because he said Bartlett’s time as associate dean was “about as much as any human can take.”
Bartlett was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.