Dean of Freshman Affairs George Levesque will step down from his post at the end of this academic year in order to assume a new position as assistant dean for academic affairs, the Yale College Dean’s Office announced Monday.
Levesque, who has held the freshman-affairs post since its creation in August 2005, will be responsible for overseeing academic issues related to the freshman year. His old job will be split between two assistant dean positions: Levesque’s, in academic affairs, and a new position — assistant dean of student affairs: director of freshman affairs.
A replacement dean of freshman affairs has not yet been named, although Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry said he is convening a search committee to fill the post.
Levesque said he will remain engaged in issues relating to freshmen.
“I will continue to have an active role in freshman orientation and freshman counselor training, especially during this time of transition,” Levesque wrote in an e-mail. “But I also plan to focus on improving freshman advising and expanding the freshman seminar program, as well as other duties more broadly related to academic affairs.”
Yale College Dean Peter Salovey, who announced the move in a Monday afternoon e-mail to dean’s office staff, said the organizational shake-up is the product of Levesque’s hefty portfolio of responsibilities.
“Running the freshman-seminar program, working on reforming the orientation programs, re-organizing freshmen and ethnic counselors — these are all major programs, requiring major effort, and it made more sense for it to be worked on by two people rather than one person,” Salovey said Monday. “Following the structure of the office, we divided it into an academic-affairs component and a student-affairs component.”
Gentry, who is overseeing the search committee and will serve as the new dean’s immediate supervisor, said he is looking for candidates with “energy and an ability to hit the ground running.” He said he hopes to name a successor to Levesque by the end of the spring term in order to give the new dean enough time over the summer months to complete the move to New Haven and be ready to begin work in the fall.
The new dean will focus on the non-academic aspects of Levesque’s work — primarily student-affairs issues like freshman orientation programs, freshman-only University mailings and freshman housing.
Levesque, meanwhile, said he plans to remain active in student affairs for the foreseeable future. Calling the line between student and academic affairs “blurry” in the freshman year, Levesque said the proximity of his colleagues within the dean’s office will facilitate collaboration between the student- and academic-affairs offices.
“We all operate under the same roof, so it’s easy to collaborate,” Gentry said. “He’ll be helping us until we find someone permanent.”
Before taking over as dean of freshman affairs in 2005, Levesque served for five years as the dean of Berkeley College.