For three years, Kim Swennen ’03 has known economics professor Christos Cabolis as the dean of Jonathan Edwards college.
But informally, Swennen has also considered Cabolis “an old friend of the family” — someone she talked to in the JE buttery, someone she showed pictures of her semester in Senegal to, someone she could refer to by first name.
“It’s not Dean Cabolis,” Swennen said. “It’s Dean Christos.”
But next year, neither name will be appropriate.
After serving as JE dean for six years, Cabolis announced late Tuesday night that he would be stepping down from his post at the end of this year. Starting this summer, Cabolis will become the executive director of the Yale School of Management’s International Center for Finance.
“We all graduate eventually from what we do and we keep growing up,” Cabolis said. “And I think this is a very good opportunity for me to apply my skills as an economist.”
Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead, who appoints residential college deans, said a search committee for a new dean will be set up either today or tomorrow.
Brodhead added that the search would not take long because there is currently an ongoing search to replace Ezra Stiles dean Susan Rieger, who will be leaving for Columbia University this fall. Cabolis’s successor will be chosen from the pool of candidates generated for Rieger’s replacement.
Cabolis said that he is grateful to the JE community for its support during his six-year tenure.
“The life within the college is quite amazing and I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy six wonderful years here,” Cabolis said. “The students have been wonderful and they’ve embraced myself and my family.”
JE master Gary Haller said one of Cabolis’ defining characteristics is his ability to lend valuable advice to JE students — advice that often consisted of characteristic phrases like “your academic schedule should be like a dinner plate.”
“I’ve heard students imitating his accent,” Haller said. “But in a way that shows they’re listening to him and really taking his advice.”
Nicole Jabaily ’02, a JE freshman counselor, said she feels lucky to have had a chance to work with Cabolis.
“It’s amazing how he knew every student and the schedules for every student,” Jabaily said. “His capacity for remembering these details is beyond me.”
While Cabolis, his wife and their two children will no longer be residents of JE, Cabolis will be named a JE fellow, Haller said.
“I’m going to go back to give them a hard time,” he said. “They’re not going to get rid of me.”
While many in the JE community said they will miss Cabolis’ expertise as an adviser and administrator, SOM Deputy Dean Stan Garstka said the International Center for Finance will welcome his skills.
Garstka said after reviewing job candidates from all over the country, the SOM decided to appoint Cabolis for his knowledge of economics, his administrative skills and his familiarity with the University.
“[Cabolis] understands the substance of the program’s initiative because he’s an economist and that supplements the administrative experience he’s had as the dean of a college,” Garstka said. “He marries the economic and financial understanding with the administrative experience.”