Columbia Dean Announces Decision to Step Down

Michelle M. Moody-Adams, dean of Columbia College at Columbia University in New York City, announced that she will step down at the end of the academic year. She is the first woman and the first African American to serve as dean of Columbia College.

In an e-mail announcing her decision, Dean Moody-Adams stated that changes in the administrative structure would diminish her authority and “ultimately compromise the college’s quality and financial health.” Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, issued a statement saying that it would be better if the dean stepped down immediately rather than wait until next summer.

Moody-Adams said that she will remain at Columbia and devote her full effort to teaching as the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory. She became dean on July 1, 2009. Previously, she was vice provost for undergraduate education at Cornell University.

Dr. Moody-Adams is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a second bachelor’s degree from Oxford University. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard University.

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