Davenport College has started a search to fill the shoes of Craig Harwood GRD ’02, who announced Tuesday that he will step down from the college’s deanship at the end of July.

Harwood, a 16-year member of the Yale community and Dean of Davenport since June 2005, will depart Yale to become the Director of the Hunter-Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld wrote in a Tuesday email to members of the college that the search for Harwood’s replacement will “need to move rapidly,” and has already begun to establish a search committee and review applications.

Though his position at the Hunter-Macaulay Honors College has been in the works for the past few months, Harwood said he only finalized his decision in the last week.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity that lies ahead,” said Harwood, who attended Queens College, CUNY as an undergraduate. “The opportunity to shape this Honors College — combining my experience as a CUNY student with my experience as a dean at Yale — is an amazing and outstanding opportunity. At the same time, it’s very bittersweet to leave a place like this.”

Harwood said taking on his post at the Hunter-Macaulay Honors College marks a “big life change” for his entire family, which will move from its six-year home in Davenport to a new residence in New York City.

Indeed, Davenport is losing not only the dean, but also his wife, Julie and their two red-headed children, Asher and Ellie, who were both born during Harwood’s tenure as dean.

“His family has integrated with Davenport very well,” Davenport College Council Co-President Peter Jasinski ’12 said. “We adopted them, and we’re all going to miss seeing Asher and Ellie running around, and watching them grow up.”

Jasinski called Harwood’s departure a major change for Davenport, and the loss of someone who worked to support the college and its students. Harwood was known among students for passing out candy in the library during reading week and exam period, and for using 3×5 note cards to learn the names of all incoming freshmen each year, Jasinski said.

“Craig took great pleasure in getting to know all the students and advising them and seeing them develop and flourish,” Schottenfeld wrote in his email to Davenport. “He was always available to help students deal with life’s inevitable challenges and difficulties.”

In addition to his role as dean, Harwood was also known for playing mandolin in the Professors of Bluegrass — a bluegrass music group that also includes Provost Peter Salovey.

Though Davenport is conducting a search for a new dean, Salovey said in a Tuesday email that the Professors of Bluegrass will not initiate a search for a new mandolin player, as Harwood hopes to maintain his position in the band.

“The Professors of Bluegrass along with the Davenport College community all wish Dean Harwood and his family the best as he begins this new venture,” Salovey said.

The search committee for Davenport’s new dean will include Davenport faculty fellows and students who are in New Haven during July and August, Schottenfeld said.