The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Dean accepts position at New York university

Donald Christian, dean of arts and sciences since 2004, resigned from his UW-Eau Claire position to take a provost and vice president of academic affairs position at State University of New York at New Paltz. He will also hold tenure in the biology department.

For Christian, the move is an opportunity for academic leadership at a high level. Christian said SUNY at New Paltz is attractive to him because it is similar to Eau Claire in that it is liberal arts based, has strong study abroad programs and is building a heavy emphasis on undergraduate research.

“(Undergraduate research) is something that’s been near and dear to my heart for a while,” he said.

One thing Christian said he will take away from his time at Eau Claire is the importance of relationship building in moving academic initiatives with faculty, staff and campus leaders.

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“It’s a recognition that the real work of the university is done by the faculty, staff and students,” he said.

Marty Wood, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs said Christian stood out as a dean because he is outgoing, both in personality and in building relationships outside of the college of arts and sciences. He was imaginative and experimental with initiatives, Wood said, especially with building the bachelor of liberal studies program and with advancing diversity on campus.

“He really raised the bar,” Wood said.

Advocating for the core values of liberal arts education has been one of Christian’s most positive experiences on campus. He said he was reinforced and impressed daily by the commitment of faculty to students, a quality he also saw in and attracted him to SUNY at New Paltz. Unlike other universities with a greater emphasis on research, Christian said he could see the commitment to students on campus.

“There’s no question why people are here,” he said.

Christian will continue his role on campus until early July and begin at SUNY at New Paltz Aug. 1. The university has yet to announce plans for identifying an interim dean for the college, Wood said.

Despite the UW System hiring freeze, Wood said the university plans to move forward and find an interim for the college.

Wood said people enjoy working with Christian and that he will be missed both in the System and especially around campus.

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Dean accepts position at New York university