Sociology professor joins Provost’s office

by Maria Brenes | 10/2/14 8:14pm

Provost Carolyn Dever appointed sociology professor Denise Anthony to a new position of vice provost for academic initiatives, a role she began Wednesday. Anthony will oversee faculty recruitment, training and retention, with a special focus on diversity — which she said requires the College to look at “the entire pipeline ofdevelopment.”

Dever, who came to the College this summer, appointed Anthony to the position as she assembles a leadership team in her third month on the job. Former interim Provost Martin Wybourne and executive officer and associate vice provost for government relations Martha Austin will serve alongside Anthony and Dever on the team.

In this position, Anthony will oversee the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, the Ethics Institute and the College’s international programs.

Dickey Center for International Understanding Director Daniel Benjamin wrote in an email that his staff is especiallypleased to be working with her because of her experience at the Institute for Security, Technology and Society, which gives her insight into the role of Dartmouth’s centers and their potential for growth. Anthony served as research director of the Institute from 2008 to 2013.

Her role will also focus on faculty recruitment and retention, as well as professional development.

Dean of the faculty of arts and sciences Michael Mastanduno, who co-hosted a spring “Moving Dartmouth Forward” discussion that focused on faculty recruitment and retention, said he expects Anthony will be a “terrific partner” in increasing faculty diversity.

At the April session, Mastanduno said each year departments search for 30 to 35 faculty members and eventually recruit 20 to 25, noting that attracting members of underrepresented minority groups can prove difficult. He said in April that about 20 percent of College faculty self-identify as minorities. Of the 1,059 faculty members listed in the 2013 Fact Book, 7 percent are Asian, 2 percent are black or African American, 3 percent are Hispanic or Latino and 84 percent are white.

Mastanduno and other school deans are in charge of recruiting faculty.

“My understanding is that the idea is to have a person in the provost’s office who also makes it a high priority,” he said.

Anthony said one aspect of her job is collaborating with faculty to think about new areas where the College can develop academic programs or research initiatives.

“There must be an open line of communication between the faculty and the provost office so that ideas flow both ways,” she wrote in a follow-up email.

Physics professor Stephon Alexander, who has advocated for greater faculty diversity, said he hopes faculty will be increasingly included in recruiting colleagues.

Alexander said he would like to see faculty committees regarding recruitment and retention work with Anthony. He said he also hopes to see policy that accommodates both “the wishes of faculty when it comes to hiring, and the wishes of the institution when it comes to enhancing diversity.”

Math professor Craig Sutton said Anthony’s position may lead to better coordination regarding faculty diversity.

“In the past, isolated tactics have been tried to achieve faculty diversity,” he said. “If we have a more global vision of how this could be achieved then I think we will actually meet a lot of success in the coming years.”

Anthony, a sociologist with a Ph.D. from Connecticut University, has been at Dartmouth since 1999. She will stop teaching after this term to focus on the new role, which she will hold for four years.

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