John “Jay” Ellison, associate dean and secretary of the Administrative Board at Harvard College, has been appointed Dean of Students in the College at the University of Chicago. John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, announced that Ellison’s appointment will begin at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year, upon the retirement of Susan Art, who has served as Dean of Students in the College for 13 years.
“Jay’s dedication to the academic and personal welfare of students, and his deep understanding of the importance of the liberal arts at the center of a major research university make him a wonderful new member of the College’s senior leadership,” Boyer said.
Ellison brings exceptionally broad experience with issues concerning curriculum, student residential life, crisis intervention and recovery, health services, and academic progress. He is also a scholar of Near Eastern languages and civilizations, having earned his doctorate at Harvard with a specialty in ancient languages and extensive field experience in Syria.
“I am excited about the opportunity to join this community during a time of growth and outreach, and to work with John Boyer and the wonderful students, faculty and staff, at the University of Chicago,” Ellison said.
Ellison’s appointment followed a national search; Dennis Hutchinson, Master of the New Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of the College, chaired a faculty and staff search committee for the position. Groups of stakeholders from across campus, including students and student life staff, met with the candidates and shared their recommendations for the new dean.
In announcing the appointment, Boyer thanked Susan Art, who informed Boyer last fall of her intention to retire at the end of the current academic year. Boyer said Art brought wisdom and imagination to her work with students in the College, noting that her efforts to professionalize the advising system, work across units in the university, and offer tutoring and mentoring support for undergraduates have been crucial to the College’s academic and social environment.
“The College has a comprehensive advising system for undergraduate students that is the envy of our peer institutions and that is in large measure due to Susan’s gifts as a leader,” he said. “Her vision in the complex field of student affairs has been extraordinary and gives her successor a robust and healthy legacy.”