President-elect Clayton Rose appointed William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Jennifer Scanlon to fill the position of dean for academic affairs on Monday. Scanlon will act as an interim dean for the next two years, and there will be a national search for a permanent dean during the 2016-2017 academic year. The news followed last week’s announcement that Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd will leave the College for the Arthur W. Mellon Foundation at the end of the current academic year.

Scanlon said that she anticipates continuing many of the ongoing initiatives within the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, including the Digital and Computational Studies Initiative, during her two years in the position. Scanlon has also been focused on faculty diversity in her position as associate dean for faculty, and said that she plans on continuing that work in her new position.

“We will continue those kinds of conversation on campus,” she said. “I have every confidence that we will continue to carry on these initiatives that we’ve started.” 

According to Scanlon, conversations have been underway for some time regarding transitions that may occur within the Academic Affairs office as Rose prepares to begin his presidency. The 2015-2016 year would have been the final year of Judd’s contract, which also contributed to those initial conversations. 

“With the news that she had accepted a position at the Mellon Foundation, we started to have much more serious and engaged conversations over a week or so,” said Scanlon. “Clayton Rose invited me to take the position on an interim basis for two years which we thought was really in the best interest of the College—since he’s going to be new— that it would really be two years of someone who could help introduce him to the place and provide some kind of continuity.”

Scanlon said that Judd will continue to work with her on the transition through the rest of the semester and into the summer. She does not anticipate a rough transition in the office. 
“I think we will have a great partnership over here,” she said. “We have an incredible staff in academic affairs. We have a lot that’s going well, and we have a lot that we will continue to build on.”

Scanlon will not be teaching classes over the course of her tenure as dean for academic affairs.
“There is lots of transition happening at the College,” she said, “And it will be really important that I devote my time and energy to making the transition both for this office without the dean we’ve had for the past nine years and also for President Rose—to make that as smooth as possible.” 

Scanlon said she is excited to be taking the position. 

“I really am honored to do this,” she said. “Bowdoin is such a terrific place and to be able to play this kind of role at a college like Bowdoin is such a reward for me.”