Provost Scherr to Return to the Classroom

This message from President Kim landed in Blitz inboxes across the campuses today. Reshuffling is the name of the game as of late, it seems.

Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community,

I’m writing to let you know that Provost Barry P. Scherr has decided to return to academic work at Dartmouth after eight years in his current role. I intend to appoint an Acting Provost very shortly, and will then initiate an expedited search for a permanent successor.

I am pleased to also report that Barry has agreed to continue to lead Dartmouth’s reaccreditation process through the end of this calendar year, for the remainder of his time as Provost and then as Provost Emeritus. He will work closely with his interim successor and me to ensure a smooth transition as we drive forward the budgetary and strategic initiatives that are so critical to the advancement of Dartmouth’s academic mission and student experience. Once this transition process is complete, Barry will take a long-delayed sabbatical to complete several scholarly projects.

While I had previously asked Barry to stay on to help with the presidential transition, and he had generously agreed, we both feel that we’ve made rapid progress over the last few months and with the new academic year well under way, now is an opportune time for Barry to follow his heart and return to academic life. I am especially grateful for the support and guidance he provided to me from the very day I joined the Dartmouth community in March and certainly understand his desire to focus more fully on his academic interests in the years ahead.

Barry has served the College with great distinction for 35 years, and we appreciate the many contributions he has made to all facets of Dartmouth life. As Associate Dean for the Humanities, he played a major role in establishing the Leslie Center for the Humanities, and as Provost he helped to create the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL). Barry has had a special interest in Dartmouth’s international profile and has worked closely with the Dickey Center on several projects. A strong supporter of the arts at Dartmouth, he has encouraged innovative programming at both the Hood Museum and the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts. He was instrumental in enabling the Library to acquire several major archives, including those of Pilobolus, of Professor Errol Hill, and of Budd Schulberg. Barry put in place the office of Vice Provost for Research, which has come to offer greater oversight and support for the critical research that takes place here in Hanover. I know that Barry takes special pride in the strong leadership that he has managed to attract to the areas that report directly to the Provost and that are vital to the academic and intellectual vigor of the institution.

Barry also has had a distinguished career as a scholar and teacher since joining the Dartmouth faculty in 1974. He is the Mandel Family Professor of Russian and has chaired both the Department of Russian and the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. He also helped found the Program in Jewish Studies. His teaching interests have included 19th and 20th century Russian literature, comparative literature and film. He has authored or edited some 12 books and has published more than 70 scholarly articles, along with several dozen contributions to reference works. His research over the years has ranged widely over Russian poetry, 20th-century Russian prose, and Russian film, with some of his more recent writings focused on issues of translating poetry between English and Russian.

I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work closely with Barry since the announcement of my presidency. I have come to value and admire the immense intelligence and dedication Barry brings to all that he does. He reflects the finest traditions of Dartmouth. Please join me in thanking Barry for his steady hand and tremendous service in leading Dartmouth College to where we are today.


Jim Yong Kim
President, Dartmouth College

Interesting. As Joe Asch ’79 pointed out over on Dartblog, it’ll be interesting to see if Sylvia Spears’ position as Tom Crady’s replacement will last a similar length of time.