College names Pam DeWeese interim dean

| July 27, 2015

President Stone announced this morning that Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures Pamela DeWeese has agreed to serve as interim academic dean and vice president for academic affairs, starting immediately.

“Since several of you recommended her for this post, I know you have confidence in her ability to serve as dean,” he wrote in an email to the campus community. “I am delighted to have her join the administrative team.”

DeWeese’s letter to the community is below.

“Dear Colleagues:

Welcome to Sweet Briar! That standard greeting has never sounded so sweet or so full of potential. We are now part of a ‘miracle’ school, and the present moment, with all its possibilities and challenges, is energizing us to move forward. We are encouraged and motivated by the creativity, collaboration and dynamic activism of the alumnae, the new Board of Directors and administration, the students, all the employees of the College, and the broader community, whose support in every possible way has helped us weather the storm and set off on a new course.

The administrative team for the current academic year is coming together, and I feel privileged to have been asked by President Stone to serve as interim dean. It is so gratifying to be able to witness this moment in which the value of a Sweet Briar education has become visible and palpable in the actions of all who refused to consider, much less allow, that the College abandon its mission of educating women.

There is a lot going on in every office now and we will all need to work together to determine how to make things run efficiently so that we can put the focus where it needs to be — on serving our students and doing the daily business of the College that supports our mission. I am going to qualify all of this activity as ‘creative chaos’ for the time being, and hope you will bear with me and help me as I work to learn the myriad aspects of this challenging position.

The first order of business, as communicated to me by President Stone, is to get the academic year underway and restore a basic sense of normalcy to what is not exactly a normal situation for us. I am convinced, however, that we have a unique opportunity to redefine what ‘normal’ is, and make it work better for us, so please let me know your ideas on how you think the dean’s office can help you as we start the new term.

I want to thank Cyndi Fein and Kristie Evans in advance for their invaluable knowledge, skill sets, and the seemingly infinite patience they demonstrate every day, and on which I will be depending heavily as I begin this new adventure. We will do our best to be responsive to your needs and questions. Once the new school year is underway, we will work across the campus to identify the next steps toward Sweet Briar 2.0. For the time being, however, let’s shake off last year, think about the lessons we can take from it, revel in the support we are receiving from the Sweet Briar community writ large, and show everyone what Sweet Briar faculty and staff can do!

Pam DeWeese

Category: Academics