Update on Search Process for Our Next Dean of the College

Dear Pomona College Community,

I am pleased to give you an update on the process for selecting Pomona’s next vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

In the spring of 2018, Robert Gaines, Edwin F. and Martha Hahn Professor of Geology, agreed to serve our beloved College for three years in this role. At the end of this academic year, those three years will conclude, and Bob plans to return to his teaching and research.

Bob has done a superb job leading our faculty, helping to design and begin the implementation of our strategic vision, achieving the successful re-accreditation of our institution for another 10 years, hiring extraordinary new faculty and helping us to move through the darkest days of the pandemic we still fight. I am deeply grateful to him for the courage, wisdom and kindness he brings to the College every day.

One of the many assignments Bob accepted will be particularly important as we prepare for transition. He was asked to advise the College on ways to make the Academic Dean’s Office run more smoothly and to enhance support for the office and for the faculty. We sought his counsel on how to redesign the role so that it is more manageable and offers room for strategic vision as well as for the day-to-day necessities of college life. We will get a report from Bob on this topic before the end of the calendar year.

In the meantime, it is time to begin a search for the next dean. I have asked the Executive Committee of the faculty to identify faculty members to serve on the search committee, which will be charged with presenting three unranked finalists to me by April. They will select six faculty to serve on the search committee, with one serving as co-chair of the committee alongside Rob Goldberg, Pomona’s vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer. They will be joined on the search committee by Trustee Donald Marron, Jr., vice chair of the Educational Quality Committee, ASPC Vice President for Academic Affairs Patrick Liu ’22 and a final membership will represent Staff Council.

The search committee will be charged with helping to recruit candidates, as well as interviewing, evaluating and selecting the finalists for the position. Rob Goldberg will represent my office and will be an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the group, while each of the other members will be full voting representatives.

The search will be open to all current members of the faculty who are or will be full professors at Pomona as of the end of Spring 2022. Shortly, we will be naming a search firm to assist the committee in this process.

It is imperative that we have a full, vibrant and diverse pool of candidates. I am actively meeting with potential candidates, and I encourage you to reach out to me or to Bob directly if you would like to have a confidential discussion about the position. I hope many of our colleagues will be interested, as it is a role that promises much joy in service to, and leadership alongside, our students, faculty and staff.


With best wishes,