On Nov. 1, Jeremy Haefner, the provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, announced that Robert Ulin was leaving his position as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, according to a post on the Academic Affairs website. History professor Glenn Kist will take the leadership position in what the announcement described as a “temporary role” for four to six weeks until an interim dean can be found. Kist previously served as interim dean of COLA before Ulin was selected.
Thomas Cornell, a history and public policy professor who represents COLA in Academic Senate, responded to the change with some consternation. According to Cornell, it was one more thing on the college’s plate on top of finishing fall quarter, converting to semester and changing general education. “This came as a complete surprise,” he said.
E-mail messages seeking comment from Haefner and Ulin were not returned.
“The reasons for Ulin’s departure have not been made public,” said Patrick Scanlon, coordinator of undergraduate degree programs at the Department of Communication, in an email.
Ulin took the position of Dean of COLA on Aug. 1, 2008. He had been the chair of the Department of Anthropology at Western Michigan University before coming to RIT.
“I welcome this exciting opportunity at RIT because it coincides with my long standing interests in global education and interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship,” Ulin said before taking the position.
Recently, Ulin worked with departments in the COLA to rework programs for the semester conversion scheduled for fall of 2013. He also worked with the University of Malmö in Sweden to bring international education to the planned urban studies track of the sociology program.
Ulin will remain a professor in the Sociology and Anthropology department.