Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd will leave the College at the end of August to become the Senior Program Officer in the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities Program for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York City.

The Foundation offered the position to Judd over Spring Break, and after careful consideration and discussions with President Barry Mills and President-elect Clayton Rose, Judd decided to accept the position, beginning on September 1.

“This is an opportunity that came to me unbidden,” said Judd. “The foundation reached out to me at the start of Spring Break.”

Judd said her new position will have a lot in common with her current role at the College.

“One of the things I love, have loved, and continue to love at Bowdoin has been the creative thinking and big program thinking about broad issues in higher education and that’s the essence of this new job,” she said.  

Judd has been the dean for academic affairs and a professor of music at the College since 2006. Her duties include oversight and support of all the academic departments as well as responsibility over faculty, libraries and the museums. Judd is also responsible for much of the communication that comes out of the academic affairs office.

Judd has been instrumental in many of the College’s enhancement initiatives, including the Digital and Computational Studies initiative.

President Mills informed the student body and faculty of her departure in an email sent out on Wednesday.

Mills stated that Judd, in her role as dean, is responsible for hiring almost 40 percent of the current faculty. She has worked hard to enrich the College’s arts programs, environmental programs and coastal studies programs.

“It is difficult to overstate Cristle’s accomplishments and her contributions to Bowdoin,” wrote Mills. “She has led efforts to secure important grants; to introduce new support and opportunities for faculty development; and to foster a culture of engaged intellectual inquiry among students through focused work on our curriculum, academic advising, and student fellowships and research.”

Apart from her duties as dean of academic affairs, Judd currently teaches Introduction to Music Theory. She has taught the course throughout her tenure at Bowdoin.

“I don’t think any dean at a place like Bowdoin should stop being active in their research and their classroom…that’s what the heart and soul of the place is about,” she said in a 2013 Orient article.

Judd says that this new position will allow her to continue the work she has been most passionate about at the College.

“I love Bowdoin. Bowdoin is so completely in my bones that this is all about the common good. In the same way that we talk about the right and the peculiar obligations,” said Judd. “What better way to see the common good than to be working with a foundation that does so much tremendous work to support the arts and humanities?” 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation donates about $250 million every year in the form of grants to enrich and enhance the arts and humanities across college campuses, including that of Bowdoin. The Foundation is responsible for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program and the Mellon Humanities Initiative that the College utilizes. It also funds part of the College’s post-doctoral program. 

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is an extraordinary organization,” said Judd. “I’ve done a lot of work with them on the receiving side. I’ve also been fortunate to work with them and to be invited when they were hosting some round tables.”

Judd said she is also looking forward to working with places like Bowdoin in a greater capacity. 

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to take all of the things I’ve learned at Bowdoin and to take all of the things that I learned before that at Penn [University of Pennsylvania]and be able to work with presidents, liberal arts colleges and big universities both nationally and internationally,” she said. 

Before coming to the College, Judd was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania for thirteen years. She graduated magna cum laude from Rice University and received a master’s degree in musicology from the same university. She received a second master’s degree in music and her PhD from King’s College, University of London.

An active scholar, Judd’s many writings include the published the award-winning book “Reading Renaissance Music Theory: Hearing With The Eyes.” 

President-elect Rose will be in charge of finding Judd’s successor. Judd said she will remain at Bowdoin until August to help with the transition.