Charlotte Johnson Named as Next Dean

In a blitz sent out to campus this afternoon, the College announced the appointment of Charlotte Johnson, currently vice president and dean of Colgate University, as the school’s next dean following the departure of Sylvia Spears this summer. The text of the message and the College’s press release can be seen in full over at Dartblog.

While Johnson, who holds a law degree from Michigan and possesses nearly 15 years of experience in academic administration, is hardly unqualified for the position, it is possible her selection was influenced by criticism from various sectors over the perceive exodus of minority faculty and administrators over the past academic year. If affirmative action did play a role, it would be rather fitting, as Johnson has a history as a strong defender of the policy in academia. While serving as assistant dean at the University of Michigan Law School, she played a leading role in defending the school’s affirmative action policy from a lawsuit which ultimately went all the way to the Supreme Court. Beyond that case, she has served as an advocate for affirmative action policies in general; a quick Google search brings up this editorial written for the Classroom Edition of the Wall Street Journal. Naturally, how these beliefs will translate over to Dartmouth remains to be seen.

Further commentary on the new Dean Johnson will be provided as more information appears. For the time being, we congratulate Johnson on her selection and wish her the best of luck.


–Blake Neff