As Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway prepares to depart Yale at the end of this academic year, the University has begun putting together an advisory committee to search for Holloway’s successor.
In a Jan. 10 email to members of the Yale undergraduate community, Yale College Council President Peter Huang ’18 solicited applications, due five days later, from students interested in serving on the Dean Search Advisory Committee. Huang stated in the email that selected students will work with administrators and faculty to recommend potential candidates for the next dean of Yale College; in doing so, Huang said, they will have “direct influence on shaping the Yale College culture for the next several years.”
Holloway — the first African-American to hold the position of dean and a former graduate student, professor and residential college head at Yale — will leave Yale in June to assume the position of provost at Northwestern University. Holloway told the News he knows he will become “increasingly emotional” as Commencement nears.
“Moments of change like this are also moments of contemplation. … I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the staff in the Dean’s Office and how much I admire their commitment to the College and to the undergraduates,” he said. “I even look at buildings in entirely different ways — individual buildings and how these buildings are in conversation with others near to them — as I begin to get accustomed to Northwestern’s campus.”
According to Huang, the president’s office requested that the YCC narrow down the number of undergraduates who applied to serve on the search committee to three. After reading through the applications and conducting interviews with strong applicants, the YCC will forward the three names to University President Peter Salovey by Thursday evening, he said.
However, Huang said he is unsure how many undergraduates will ultimately be selected to serve on the committee, as that decision ultimately rests with Salovey and his team.
The president’s office has not yet announced any specific details about the search process, so the precise configuration of the committee and the timeline it will be working on remain unknown.
Holloway announced his decision to leave Yale for Northwestern in an email to members of the University community last November, three years into the five-year term deans of Yale College are generally appointed to serve.
In a follow-up email, Salovey congratulated Holloway on his “next professional chapter,” while also underscoring his departure from Yale as an “incalculable loss.”
“Since assuming leadership of Yale College in July 2014, Dean Holloway has been a thoughtful and innovative steward of Yale’s undergraduate mission,” Salovey wrote. “He has been a calm and compassionate presence in turbulent times, and an unswervingly wise leader for the College and our wider campus.”
For his part, Holloway told the News that he has no information about the search for his successor. Based on past practices, Holloway speculated that the search committee will be named before the end of January and that the next dean of Yale College may be named shortly after spring break.
Holloway will begin his duties as provost at Northwestern University on July 1.