Sharon Long announces plan to leave dean's post in 2007

Sharon Long

Sharon Long

Sharon Long has announced that she will step down as dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at the beginning of the 2007-08 academic year, if not sooner, so that she can return to research and teaching.

"I have decided that I would like to return to my research and teaching in the relatively near future," Long, the William C. Steere, Jr.-Pfizer Inc. Professor in Biological Sciences, said in a March 22 e-mail to faculty and colleagues. "The provost and president have asked that I serve as dean for an additional year, and I am pleased to extend my service for that term, or until a successor will be able to begin."

President John Hennessy appointed Long the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences in April 2001.

She said she has enjoyed the many challenges of the position and her role as the school's leader in forming relationships with donors and supporters. "It has been a pleasure to work on behalf of the school with donors and supporters, and to help make plans for the new university campaign in partnership with the other deans and the Development Office. So, with all those positives, it is difficult to think of stepping down," Long said.

She cited the appeal of conducting research and teaching as her main reasons for deciding against another five-year term as dean.

"I have an enduring love for science, and deep loyalty and gratitude to my lab colleagues, who have worked productively through my term as dean," she said. "We have made progress in our research and some exciting surprises have emerged. However, our field is evolving rapidly, and, for an experimental scientist, active participation with lab research is a central requirement of scholarly life."

The president and provost both agreed that her successor should be ready to start by September 2007 so that he or she can help lead the school during future campaigns, Long said.