Biron to replace Calsbeek as North Park House professor in the fall

by Alexa Green | 9/16/16 12:33am


North Park House consists of Ripley, Smith and Woodward Halls. 

by Kate Herrington / The Dartmouth

Dean of the College Rebecca Biron will replace Ryan Calsbeek as North Park house professor. Biron will serve in this position in addition to her role as dean.

Calsbeek, a biological sciences professor and director of the biology foreign study program, stepped down from his position as the North Park house professor early this term, Biron wrote in an email to North Park house members on Sept. 1. He will continue his teaching and research activities at the College.

House professors and families live a short walk from their respective communities, with each professor serving a four-year term. Calsbeek will continue to live in the North Park residential home for the duration of the fall. Biron will not live in the North Park’s house this term. She did not specify whether or not she will be moving into North Park’s professor residence after this term.

There were over 20 applications for six house professor positions this past spring. However, the College did not anticipate Calsbeek’s departure at the start of the term, so they did not begin a search process for a new house professor, Biron said. College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in a statement that any changes to North Park’s house professor role will be publicly announced, and the goal of building a stable community remains unchanged.

Several students interviewed expressed concerns about the creation of strong house communities.

“Everything is up in the air right now,” said North Park House undergraduate advisor Barry Yang ’18, adding that the house committees do not seem to have a specific idea of how community-building interactions will come about.

However, Yang said that he believes the housing system will have a positive impact in the long-term.

Biron said that the direct experience of opening the houses as a house professor supplements her job as dean of the College.

“My role as dean of the College overseeing the house communities is coordinating across all of the houses and that is intimately related to the house professor work itself,” she said.

House professors work with undergraduate advisors, graduate student fellows, student leadership teams and affiliated faculty. In tandem with student affairs staff, they are working to select governing student leaders, develop house identities and plan house programs. Yang said that his undergaduate advisor training incorporated these efforts to establish new traditions through personal interactions and planning opportunities to get together.

Biron will also have a dual role serving on the House Council, which consists of herself, the house professors, Vice Provost of Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer, Student Affairs and Residential Life Dean Michael Wooten and each house’s new assistant director for residential education.