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Colleagues Praise Pilbeam

By Joshua W. Shenk

Colleagues of Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education David Pilbeam yesterday praised the outgoing dean's work, saying that his successor's top responsibilities will be to serve on a new Educational Policy Review committee and to help with the imminent capital campaign.

"He has injected new concern about curricular matters, especially undergraduate education, into discussions about faculty appointments and resource allocation," said Jeffrey Wolcowitz, assistant dean for undergraduate education.

Students who have worked with the outgoing dean also praised his work yesterday.

Steven N. Kalkanis '93, who has served with Pilbeam on the Committee on Undergraduate education, said that the dean had an unusual commitment to student concerns.

"I hope whoever is going to succeed him will be able to have the same rapport with administration officials," said Kalkanis, who is co-chair of the Undergraduate Council academics committee.

And Maya Prabhu '94, also a co-chair, said that Pilbeam's familiarity with the administration was a big help for undergraduates.

Pilbeam, who leaves after five years at the post, is departing at a critical time, leaving his successor to oversee the educational review and raise money at the same time.

"The job description is a list of problems that have to be worried about constantly," Pilbeam said yesterday. Part of the challenge, Pilbeam said, will allocating new resources.

Wolcowitz said that the Review committee, which was created during Pilbeam's tenure and will begin meeting in the spring, will be a forum for "broad questions of education" and a source of ongoing analysis of departments in the University.

It is expected that the review committee will be able to analyze undergraduate education the same way the Core is scrutinized. Administration of the Core requires attention to a great number of educational issues, but "we have no parallel structure for examining an even larger part of the curriculum," Wolcowitz said.

And Core Program Director Susan W. Lewis said that the committee will "undoubtedly be a great plus" for undergraduates.

Lewis added that the specific roles of the committee won't be determined until it begins meeting.

In addition, Wolcowitz said that soliciting alumni donations, one of Pilbeam's strengths, will be an important role for his successor to play.

"We'll need someone to articulately and effectively explain to the donors why we need the money," Wolcowitz said.


Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 also said that Pilbeam had special fund raising skills.

"[Pilbeam] has worked a lot with the outside community in terms of explaining the need for supporting undergraduate education," Hewett said.

"I think the challenge is going to be to find someone with the same energy in continuing the initiatives that David Pilbeam has started," Jewett said.

Pilbeam, who is also Ford professor of anthropology, will return full-time to that department the fall.

His five-year tenure, he said yesterday, was longer than he expected.

"I would have preferred to step down a year ago but I stayed on at Dean Knowles's request and I'm glad I did," Pilbeam said

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