Interim Dean Ameer Will Serve in New Provost’s Office Post

Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer has been promoted to Vice Provost, a brand new office.

 

Provost Carolyn Dever blitzed the undergraduate student body on the morning of April 14 to announce that the administration will begin its search for the next permanent Dean of the College in May. She indicated that the new Dean would be promoted internally from Dartmouth’s faculty, which has been far from the norm for recent appointments.

After describing the long list of noble tasks and responsibilities the new Dean will inherit, Dever continued by announcing the creation of a new position within the Office of the Provost that will presumably be senior to the Dean of the College. The new post, titled Vice Provost for Student Affairs, will be filled by none other than Inge-Lise Ameer, who has served as Interim Dean of the College since January 2014.

In Dever’s description, Ameer’s new Vice Provost role will closely resemble her current job, but with less emphasis on interacting with students and fielding their concerns, and a laser-focus on crafting and pushing down student affairs policy.

[Vice Provost Ameer] will provide leadership and vision for student life support services. The new vice provost will oversee the development, implementation, and assessment of all aspects of our student affairs programs, policies and practices.

Given her role as the public face of Moving Dartmouth Forward since its announcement in February, it was widely assumed that Ameer would be reappointed to the permanent Dean position. But her promotion to the new office paints an even clearer picture of Dever’s and Hanlon’s approval of her performance and their shared vision for student life. The administrative shake-up presents a clear sign that the College’s plans for student-life reform go far beyond the skeleton laid out in the MDF proposals, and they’ve called all hands on deck as they begin to put those plans in action.

Ameer’s promotion also comes on the heels of the derecognition of Alpha Delta fraternity, which was announced the previous afternoon. Because the review process the College conducted before handing down their decision on AD was both quick and intransparent, it is difficult to get a grasp of Ameer’s specific involvement. But AD house advisor Larry W. Weidner ’85, who had corresponded with the administration as they deliberated, blasted Ameer for leaning heavily toward derecognition while disregarding the specific facts of AD’s case. He began by quoting Ameer saying,

We don’t have anything definite yet, but we will … In the mean time, there are things we can do quickly to create more community space.” All of this sounds very Harvardish to me and it also seems that she has her eyes set on AD as a perfect “community house space” for her to attempt to commandeer.

Whether or not Ameer’s comments were driven by the sinister motive that Weidner suggests, the juxtaposition of her role in the derecognition and her promotion to unprecedented power will give friends of the Greek system pause. As Vice Provost, Ameer will likely relegate her student interaction role to the new Dean of the College. But students in-the-know will be eagerly watching her performance nonetheless.