Susan Rieger, dean of Ezra Stiles College and a professor of women’s and gender studies, will leave her positions at the end of this school year to become the associate provost for equal opportunities at Columbia University. Ezra Stiles Master Paul Fry sent an e-mail Sunday night to students in the college informing them of Rieger’s decision.

“I want to say how much I’ve enjoyed the last nine years and how much I’ll miss you all,” Rieger said in a separate e-mail sent to all Stiles students Sunday night. “The dean’s job is a great job, and Yale students are the reason.”

While Fry praised Rieger for her efforts as dean, he also emphasized how great an opportunity the Columbia post is for Rieger.

“[Rieger] has many regrets, I know, but she has served us conscientiously and well for 10 years, and she can’t afford to let this wonderful opportunity pass by,” Fry wrote in the e-mail.

Rieger, who graduated from Columbia Law School, could not be reached for comment last night.

Wallis Finger ’04, who worked with Rieger as a member of the Stiles housing committee, said she understands Rieger’s situation.

“She’s a really great dean who cared for her students, so I think she’ll definitely be missed,” Finger said. “But it sounds like she has a great opportunity at Columbia, so I wish her the best.”

Catharine Bradford ’03, who also worked on the housing committee with Rieger, said she felt lucky to have had the opportunity to know Rieger.

“[Rieger] was a fantastic dean,” Bradford said. “She was always able to answer questions, and she always had good advice for us. She’ll definitely be missed.”

Rieger’s departure comes in the wake of Fry’s Oct. 25 announcement that he would be stepping down from his post at the end of the academic year. But unlike Rieger, Fry will remain at Yale as a faculty member in the English Department.

With both the master and the dean stepping down at the end of the year, Finger said the transition could be difficult for some students.

“It’s sort of a tough position to lose both your dean and master at the same time,” Finger said. “But I’m confident that they’ll find good replacements for them.”

Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead is ultimately responsible for appointing college deans.