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In College reorganization, Gross taps Pilbeam for senior adviser position

By Liz C. Goodwin and Ying Wang, Crimson Staff Writerss

While there are no plans to hire a new deputy dean to replace his former second-in-command, Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 has appointed Ford Professor of Human Evolution David Pilbeam, an administrative veteran, to a new post as his senior adviser.

Former Deputy Dean of the College Patricia O’Brien was forced out of her post this summer. Her position, formed in 2004, was created to lighten Gross’ workload.

Gross told The Crimson at the time of O’Brien’s hiring that his responsibilities as dean of the College—a post created in 2003 that consolidated two top administrative positions—“was just too much” and that he felt the need to “hire someone to help me divide up this job.”

Gross created the position of senior adviser to dean of the College to “work closely” with his senior staff on College projects, he wrote in an e-mail.

Pilbeam declined to comment on his new position.

“He has been a valued advisor to me since I became dean and we decided to make it a recognized position,” Gross wrote.

Pilbeam served as dean of undergraduate education and most recently as chair of the committee on advising and counseling—one of the few committees in the curricular review whose recommendations were implemented.

Along with his role as senior adviser, Pilbeam will co-chair the Education Policy Committee (EPC) with Gross.

Formed in 1992 by Interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Jeremy R. Knowles, the EPC is responsible for making suggestions for curricular reform.

Although Knowles and William C. Kirby both co-chaired the committee during their tenures as deans of the Faculty, Knowles wrote in an e-mail that he has “many more committees...to chair these days,” and that the “EPC could not be better led than by these two.”

Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67 called Pilbeam’s appointment as senior adviser a “wonderful outcome for the College.”

Dingman also lauded Pilbeam’s work as chair of the Advising and Counseling Committee, responsible for the recent overhaul of the advising system.

The new Advising Programs Office (APO), which coordinates undergraduate advising and launched the new Peer Advising Fellows program, has added five new staff members since its formation last spring.

But the new office will be staffed with some familiar faces, as former administrative standbys take on new posts.

Assistant Dean of Advising Programs James N. Mancall, resident dean of Ivy Yard for the past six years, made his transition from the Freshmen Dean’s Office to University Hall this summer. Mancall’s successor, William Cooper ’94, was named in late June.

But the APO is not the only office to see change. Over the summer, former assistant dean of the College Julia G. Fox moved from University Hall to the Office of Career Services, where she now acts as assistant dean for life skills curriculum development.

Fox previously oversaw the Ann Radcliffe Trust, which now falls under the auspices of the new women’s center.

Noel Bisson, who previously served as assistant dean at Colgate University in New York, will act as the new assistant dean of undergraduate education.

Bisson says she plans to work with teaching fellows to improve undergraduate teaching.

—Staff writer Liz C. Goodwin can be reached at goodwin@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Ying Wang can be reached at yingwang@fas.harvard.edu.

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