Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead and Graduate School Dean Susan Hockfield will be reappointed for five-year terms next July, President Richard Levin announced in a letter to Yale administrators and faculty members.
“They’re both extraordinarily committed to their jobs,” Levin said. “They’re devoted to Yale, and in both cases they have the interests of students so thoroughly at heart. They have both done a spectacular job.”
Brodhead, who is also the A. Bartlett Giametti Professor of English and American Studies, has maintained a popular reputation on campus despite entering his office amid the faculty unrest that led to the resignations of former Yale President Benno Schmidt and former Yale College Dean Donald Kagan in 1993.
“The truth is I have a wonderful and fascinating job,” Brodhead said. “There’s endless education and the chance to work hard on behalf of an institution that I deeply love and believe in. I haven’t gotten tired of this job yet and there’s still a lot to learn from it.”
A lifelong Yalie, Brodhead is currently heading a review of Yale College education and has been widely praised for his public speaking, particularly his annual speech at the Freshman Assembly.
“He’s the embodiment, he’s the perfect type of Yale College dean,” Levin said. “[He is] the most eloquent speaker, the friendliest, the warmest, most respected you could imagine.”
Lindsey Parker ’04, secretary of the Yale College Council, said that Brodhead’s past as a Yale undergraduate and graduate student helped him relate to students.
“Not only does he know the way we work, he wants to make sure he’s constantly in touch with us,” Parker said. “He tries very hard to get his finger on the pulse of the student body.”
Graduate students and faculty members also welcomed Hockfield’s reappointment.
Hockfield, the William Edward Gilbert Professor of neurobiology, has served as dean since 1998. During her tenure, Hockfield has helped secure greater health care benefits for doctoral students, increased graduate student stipends, and expanded services at the McDougal Graduate Student Center.
“Dean Hockfield has made tremendous progress in improving the quality of graduate student life and building a sense of community that was needed,” Levin said.
Hockfield was out of town and unavailable for comment this week.
Thomas Burns, assistant dean of the Graduate School, said that Hockfield’s tenure has helped create an “identity for the Graduate School.”
A major issue in the graduate school during Hockfield’s term has been graduate student unionization. GESO leaders have criticized administrators throughout Hockfield’s term and the issue of unionization remains unresolved.
Erin Matthews GRD ’05 said that most members of the graduate school community were pleased by Hockfield’s reappointment.
“One thing I really like is the way she personally deals with students,” Matthews said. “She’s popular among the graduate students, and I also get the feeling she’s popular among the faculty.”