Morse College Dean Rosemary Jones will step down from her position at the end of this year to spend more time with her family, she announced Monday.
In an e-mail to the Morse community, Jones said she has enjoyed her years at Morse but is looking forward to devoting more of her energy to her family, including her two adopted children from China. She said she still hopes to continue teaching English at Yale. Jones has served as dean of Morse since 1998.
“I really enjoyed the past years very much,” Jones said in an interview Monday. “It has definitely been worth it.”
Jones said she moved to the United States from Australia in 1996 to marry her husband Richard and to teach English as a second language at Yale summer school. She never thought she would become a residential college dean at Yale a few years later, she said.
“It was a wonderful surprise to find the Yale summer school job,” Jones said. “To be offered the position of dean after I applied for it was terrific. It has definitely been worth it.”
Morse Master Frank Keil, who began his tenure in 2000, said Jones’s experience and affable personality made his transition four years ago easy and enjoyable. He said he admires Jones’s ability to connect with students on both academic and personal levels.
“I think being dean requires that you have a whole array of skills” Keil said. “That’s what makes her so good.”
Administrators at the Yale College Dean’s Office chose Jones as Morse dean from a pool of 48 applicants. Yale College Deputy Dean Joseph Gordon said Jones, who was already a popular writing tutor at Morse in 1997, was “an immediate hit” during her tenure as acting dean. Gordon said he thinks Jones’s skills as an instructor in a freshman English seminar have served her well in her years at Morse.
“[Jones] gives the same gifts to the deanship that she’s shown as a tutor and an instructor,” Gordon said. “She cares for each individual, is a great listener, and always takes time to hear what people have to say.”
Several of Jones’s colleagues said they valued the insight she brought from her experiences prior to coming to Yale. Jones was head of a secondary school in rural Australia before coming to Yale.
“Dean Jones has always been an exceptional colleague in all ways,” Silliman College Dean Hugh Flick said. “Her leaving is going to be a real loss to the fellowship of deans.”
Morse students praised Jones for being both a sound academic advisor and a personal confidante. Diego Rotalde ’05 said he respects Jones for holding students accountable for their academic work. During one final exam week, he said he asked Jones for a dean’s excuse because of a heavy exam schedule. Although Jones declined to give him an excuse, Rotalde said he now has great respect for her.
“Dean Jones behaves like a good parent and a good teacher,” Rotalde said. “She can always talk about emotional problems, but she always makes sure responsibility falls on [students’] shoulders.
Jones said she will still live in New Haven and hopes, in addition to continuing to teach English 114, that she will find time to write fiction and improve her Chinese cooking skills.