Departing Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead’s replacement won’t be the only new Dean at Yale next year.
With Trumbull College Dean Laura King set to leave Yale at the end of this academic year, a committee led by Trumbull Master Janet Henrich has begun meeting to search for King’s successor. The committee will present a recommendation to Brodhead, who will then make the final decision, committee member and Trumbull College Council President Reuben Grinberg ’05 said.
Grinberg said the recommendation could be out before spring break and that a new dean will be in place at the beginning of the next academic year.
“We’re trying to select a new dean as soon as possible,” Grinberg said.
King announced to Trumbull students in a November e-mail that she would resign and encouraged students to participate actively in the search for the new dean. She also said she would not begin her transition into a writing career “until every member of the Class of 2004 has his or her diploma and Potty Man [a statue in the college] has a fresh coat of paint.”
Grinberg said the committee first met last Friday to separate applicants for the position into active and inactive categories. Trumbull students were invited to attend a forum this past Tuesday where they could tell the committee what qualities they would like the new dean to possess.
“Many of the students at the forum talked about the great qualities of our current dean as the same qualities that they would like to see in our next dean,” Grinberg said.
Committee member Nilakshi Parndigamage ’06 said the committee will meet again next Tuesday to choose a few candidates to invite to Trumbull to meet students and interview with the committee. She said students could ask candidates questions like “How sick do I have to be to get a dean’s excuse?”
“There’s only so much you can derive from applications and recommendations,” Parndigamage said.
Committee member and French professor Ruth Koizim said the invited candidates will also meet with members of the Yale College dean’s office.
“It’ll be a busy time for them, but I think it will be a real treat,” Koizim said.
Parndigamage said King helped her make the transition from living in Sri Lanka to living in the United States. Parndigamage said she thinks a new dean should be open to students but also able to get the job done in the office.
“We’re looking for a people person as well as a paper person,” Parndigamage said.
Grinberg said the new dean should be involved in Trumbull life, just as King participated in events like Rumble in Trumbull, where students bet “Trumbucks” on farcical battles between members of the Trumbull community.
“This year the dean was saying how [she and the master had] been getting along so well and that they wouldn’t want to fight,” Grinberg said. “At this point the master put a whipped cream pie in the dean’s face. And the dean returned the favor.”
Trumbull Literary Magazine Editor in Chief Meredith Kaffel ’05 said King is the advisor for the publication. Kaffel said reasons she will remember King include the Halloween costume King helped her make and their common academic interests in poetry and Renaissance literature.
“All I can say is that Laura King will be thought of often by Trumbullians, and warmly,” Kaffel said in an e-mail.
Henrich, King and Brodhead were unavailable for comment.