David Quigley, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, will serve as Boston College’s new provost and dean of faculties beginning on June 1, the University announced Tuesday. Quigley, who has been in his current role since 2009, has demonstrated successful leadership of A&S and is a highly qualified choice for the important position of University provost.
As an inside promotion, Quigley brings considerable experience with faculty and administrators to his new leadership role. Having served as a professor within the history department and as the dean of first year students in A&S, Quigley is in a strong position to build better relationships between the administration and the faculty at BC. As a former professor, he is well situated to understand the needs and concerns of the academic departments. Working across departments, he has also been successful in the development and promotion of interdisciplinary majors and minors within A&S, which have been positive developments for the University.
Although BC will certainly benefit from having Quigley in this new position, there are also many projects within A&S, thus far overseen by Quigley, that remain unfinished. While the Core curriculum renewal project affects all undergraduate students, the faculty members who teach those classes all come from A&S. Quigley served as the co-chair of the Core Renewal Committee-this process has stalled over the last year and is one that still requires considerable administrative attention. Currently, Quigley serves as a member of the Core Foundations Task Force, which is the focus for this semester, as the administration rethinks the Core renewal process. Although he has said that he hopes to continue to be involved and help advance the core renewal process beyond this semester, it is uncertain how much attention he will be able to devote to it.
Additionally, since Mark O’Connor stepped down as the director of the A&S Honors Program in the fall of 2011, Quigley has served as its interim director. The program has remained in a state of uncertainty, as no permanent successor has been appointed. Whoever replaces Quigley as the dean of A&S will have the responsibility of determining the direction of the program, establishing consistent leadership, and resolving many unanswered questions.
So that the projects in progress within A&S-especially the Core renewal process-don’t stall from lack of direct oversight, the University should move quickly to name a new, qualified dean of A&S. Quigley’s experience and successes as dean make him an excellent choice for provost, though, and it is further reassuring that the search committee found a successor within a year of former provost and dean of faculties Cutberto Garza’s decision to step down from the position. Despite all that is left unresolved in A&S, the administration’s decision to promote from within the University for this position is a positive one.