As Branford College Head Elizabeth Bradley prepares to assume the presidency of Vassar College at the end of the academic year, a search committee is in the process of selecting her successor.
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway told the News on Wednesday that a committee tasked with searching for Bradley’s successor was convened on March 8. The seven-member committee, chaired by Jay Ague, a professor of Geology and Geophysics and Branford fellow, includes three other fellows — two of whom are also professors — and three Branford students. The committee is also supported by Director of Administrative Affairs to the President Pilar Montalvo. Holloway said that he and University President Peter Salovey will be meeting with the search committee soon. He added that Salovey hopes to make a decision and announce Bradley’s replacement soon after both Holloway and Salovey meet with the search committee.
“The challenge here is all driven by our complicated calendars,” Holloway said. “The president and I haven’t often both been in town at the same time for much of the past weeks. I’m sure [President Salovey] is going to work very hard to get Betsy Bradley’s replacement announced while students are still on campus.”
Holloway noted that the timing for the committee’s creation has been a scheduling factor, given that the group formed two days before spring break.
Bradley, who has led Branford College since 2011, said that as with most departing heads of college, she is not involved in the search process. As she prepares to leave, Bradley said her schedule is packed, but her colleagues at Vassar understand that Yale has to be her priority until July 1, when she officially takes up her new position. She added that she is enjoying “taking stock” of her years at Yale and reflecting on how much she has learned from everyone here.
“I feel two ways — at least two ways — at once: both energized and excited about the future at Vassar, and wistful about the wonderful times our family has had here in Branford and at Yale more generally,” Bradley said. “Transitions are complicated, and I am enjoying the concept that I am graduating along with the class of 2017.”
Bradley came to Yale 25 years ago as a doctoral student studying health economics after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
In addition to her position at Branford, Bradley, currently a professor of public health, also serves as the Brady-Johnson professor of Grand Strategy and faculty director of the Global Health Leadership Institute, which she founded in 2009. Salovey announced her decision to leave Yale for Vassar in a Jan. 11 email to the campus.
Branford students praised Bradley for her commitment to the college and expressed hope that the next head of college should possess similar qualities.
“Head Bradley was really great. She got really involved in things like IMs, and I’ll see her in the courtyard a lot just throwing a ball with her son,” Juliette Dietz ’19 said. “So I would definitely look for stuff like that in a new head of college — someone who gets really involved and has pets.”
Julian Martin ’20 said the new head of Branford should demonstrate a willingness to talk and meet with students individually, particularly freshmen.
And Adam Harb ’18 said he would like to see the new head involved with the academic life of students in the college, a duty currently overseen chiefly by Branford Dean Sarah Insley.
Vassar College was founded in 1861.