After over a decade in his position, Dean of the College Richard Feldman is stepping down.
Feldman’s resignation was announced in an email to the University community on Monday.
He will take a year off before resuming his role as a philosophy professor.
“While I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had as dean, I’m getting closer to the end of my career and I have ongoing interests in my academic discipline, philosophy, so I’d like to return to teaching and research,” Feldman told the Campus Times. “I hope to continue to be engaged in various aspects of the life of the College for some time. But I would also like a schedule that permits more time for other things, especially my family.”
Reacting to Feldman’s resignation, colleagues lauded his service as Dean of the College.
“Dean Feldman was an active supporter of the academic and co-curricular lives of students,” Vice President, Senior Adviser to the President, and University Dean Paul Burgett said. “Richard Feldman combines the finest qualities of thoughtful leadership that has made the University of Rochester a better place.”
Burgett additionally praised Feldman as a loyal advocate for students and an effective administrator.
“I have enjoyed working with Dean Feldman on the College Diversity Roundtable (CDR),” Burgett Intercultural Center Director Jessica Guzmán-Rea said. “One example of the positive outcome from the CDR has been the One Community Program. Dean Feldman [was] part of the executive team that has supported me in the … implementation of the Bias-Related Incident Report.”
Dean of Students Matthew Burns called Feldman’s support essential to creating the Communal Principles Project.
“He rarely fails to remind us all of our six principles and to keep them alive and relevant in all we do,” Burns said.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick praised Feldman for his hard work and its impact.
“Dean Feldman’s great contribution as I see it is that he never for one second failed to understand the value of each and every student, one at a time,” Burdick said. “I think ten years from now people will still remember and benefit from his deeply-rooted support for OMSA, the Kearns Center, and the Interfaith Chapel, his leadership in reforming the Gwen Greene Career and Internship Center and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the many times he assembled the right voices around the table to reform specific programs and services.”
Over the course of his tenure as Dean of the College, Feldman has led several projects, including the large Frederick Douglass Commons Renovation Project last year and the facilitation and development of both the CARE Network and the Burgett Intercultural Center.
During his sabbatical, he plans to travel to Europe and Harvard University to present at conferences, and will also be giving lectures at the University. Feldman is additionally considering writing a book,contributing to a textbook, spending time with his family, and traveling to Cuba.
He began his career at the University in 1975 as an assistant professor.
In spring of 2006, Feldman took on the role of Interim Dean of the College after the previous Dean of the College, William Green, stepped down.
In 2007, he was appointed Dean of the College. Feldman served two terms, with his second term ending in 2016.
Feldman explained that he had initially planned to step down when his second term ended, but agreed to continue for another year in the position.
The University will begin the search process to find Feldman’s successor after it completes its search for the next Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.