Lawrence’s Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Catherine Kodat, is leaving at the end of June for a terminal sabbatical. Kodat has been in her position since July 2017.
According to Kodat, she is leaving due to a mix of personal and professional reasons. Her family and friends live on the East Coast, where she is from, and she said that being separated from them during the pandemic has been hard. She also commented that five years is a common term of service for a college administrator.
Kodat added that after her departure, she plans to spend her time thinking about the challenges facing higher education, specifically liberal arts colleges.
“This nation needs liberally educated citizens more than ever,” said Kodat. “I want to do all I can to support their future flourishing.”
Kodat’s role as Provost and Dean of the Faculty is to serve as the top academic administrator for Lawrence. Her responsibilities include overseeing faculty reappointment, tenure and promotion and managing faculty meetings. She also oversees the Center for Academic Success, the Wriston Art Gallery and the Seeley Mudd Library, among other academic programs at Lawrence, as well as facilitating connections between the faculty and the administration.
History Professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty Peter Blitstein will be stepping in as interim Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Blitstein has been at Lawrence since 2001 and has taught history and first-year studies, as well as contributing to Russian Studies and Global Studies. He has chaired the history department in the past and was appointed to the role of Associate Dean of the Faculty in 2019.
Blitstein commented that he will be overseeing parts of the Strategic Investment Initiative that are related to academics. He added that he plans to serve in the role as long as he is needed.
Kodat reflected on her time at Lawrence.
“I feel tremendously fortunate to have been able to be a part of this warm and welcoming community of artists and scholars,” said Kodat.