College of Arts and Science restructures dean’s office; Schachter assumes new role as senior associate dean of academic affairs (2024)

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Jul 2, 2024, 8:00 AM

The College of Arts and Science has reorganized the dean’s office and welcomed several new faculty members to the leadership team, including Allison Schachter, who will serve as senior associate dean of academic affairs.

The changes were driven by the college’s continued focus on undergraduate education. Since early 2022, the College of Arts and Science has been developing a new general education curriculum, the , which will be introduced to students in fall 2025. The new dean’s office structure positions the college to support students and faculty as the new curriculum comes to life.

“This was an opportune time for us to rethink the structure and division of responsibilities in the dean’s office,” said Timothy P. McNamara, Ginny and Conner Searcy Dean of the College of Arts and Science. “We have been deeply exploring how we can best deliver a first-rate undergraduate education across the arts and sciences, and these changes are part of that effort, along with the launch of the new A&S College Core. This also was an opportunity to align our leadership titles with those used across the university.”

One significant change was the reconfiguration of the senior associate dean of academic affairs role, assumed by Allison Schachter, professor of Jewish studies and professor of English. The position now combines strategic leadership for undergraduate academics with management of the day-to-day operations of undergraduate education, which are housed in the Office of Undergraduate Education and the A&S College Core Office. In her new role, Schachter provides guidance for the college’s more than 70 undergraduate academic programs and represents the college’s undergraduate mission to the larger university through collaboration with other undergraduate schools and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

“This is an exciting moment of change in the College of Arts and Science,” Schachter said. “I am thrilled to work with the college’s extraordinary students, faculty and staff to advance our mission of high-quality undergraduate education distinguished by rigorous academic inquiry, intellectual exploration, and expansion of student research and immersion opportunities. I am truly excited by the prospect of collaborating to shape the future of undergraduate education at Vanderbilt.”

An award-winning scholar of 19th and 20th century modern Jewish literature and culture, Schachter is the author of two books and translator of a third. She has held a Fulbright Fellowship, and her scholarship has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2006, she has played a key role in the development of the Jewish studies program, serving as its chair from 2016 to 2019 and again from 2020 to 2023.

“Allison’s strong record as a scholar, teacher and program builder makes her the ideal person for this new leadership role,” McNamara said.

Below is the full list of changes that have taken place in the College of Arts and Science dean’s office:

College of Arts and Science restructures dean’s office; Schachter assumes new role as senior associate dean of academic affairs (1)

Bonnie Dow

College of Arts and Science restructures dean’s office; Schachter assumes new role as senior associate dean of academic affairs (2)

John McLean

College of Arts and Science restructures dean’s office; Schachter assumes new role as senior associate dean of academic affairs (3)

Allison Schachter

  • Bonnie Dow is vice dean and senior associate dean of faculty affairs, overseeing all issues related to tenured/tenure-track and continuing-track faculty, as well as departmental leadership.
  • John McLean is senior associate dean of graduate education and research. While his title changed to align with titles used across the university, he will retain his current responsibilities overseeing graduate education and the college’s research portfolio.
  • Allison Schachter is senior associate dean of academic affairs, overseeing the college’s Office of Undergraduate Education and the A&S College Core Office.
  • Four new assistant deans joined the Office of Undergraduate Education: Elizabeth Meadows, who will also serve as the director of undergraduate education, Pavneet Aulakh, Alissa Hare and Mario Rewers.

Elizabeth Meadows

Pavneet Aulakh

Alissa Hare

Mario Rewers

Paul Stob will continue to serve as director of the and Elizabeth Catania will continue to serve as associate director.

“I am indebted to the outgoing deans for their valued service to the college,” McNamara said. “Sarah Igo, Cindy Kam, Roger Moore, Andrea Hearn, Dan Morgan, Carrie Russell and Jonathan Waters have shown tremendous dedication and leadership that have helped A&S advance and grow in important ways. As we welcome new leadership to the dean’s office, we will build on the strong foundation they have created and the important progress they have made.”

All College of Arts and Science dean’s office changes went into effect on July 1.

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  • Mario Rewers
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College of Arts and Science restructures dean’s office; Schachter assumes new role as senior associate dean of academic affairs (2024)

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