Dye To Take Sabbatical From Presidency In Fallby Elizabeth Heron (2/11/00)
Oberlin College president Nancy Dye has announced that she will take a semester's sabbatical. President Dye will be on leave from July 1, 2000 until Jan. 1, 2001, during which time Clayton Koppes, dean of the college of Arts and Sciences, will serve as acting president.
"Sabbaticals are an old institution in colleges and universities. It's important to have time to reflect, learn new things, and to kind of take a breath," said Dye.
During her sabbatical, Dye will be visiting a number of historically black colleges around the United States. "I would like to spend a few residencies of a couple of weeks apiece, learning more about student life and the missions of these institutions," said Dye.
Dye will also be travelling to Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association program sites in Asia. The Shansi Memorial Association provides opportunities for communication between the United States and Asia through community-oriented and educational programs. "Oberlin, particularly in Japan and China, is very well-known and highly regarded. The Asian Studies program sets us apart from many liberal arts colleges," said Dye. She hopes to return to Oberlin with new ideas for the Asian Studies program, including increased opportunities for students and faculty to travel in Asia.
Dye has led Oberlin as president since 1994. During that time, she has been involved in various community-oriented programs involving students.
Dye also has been instrumental in the on-going Capital Campaign, an effort to enhance Oberlin's funding and endowments. The money raised will be used to fund major building and renovation needs, increase the endowment for student scholarships and faculty salaries, and strengthen academic programs.
Koppes believes Dye's sabbatical "is richly deserved. Nancy Dye has a long list of accomplishments in six years at Oberlin, and it's a great honor and a great challenge to step into her shoes even for a few months."
Koppes came to Oberlin as a professor of history in 1978, and became chair of the department in 1986.
"I see my role as providing continuity. I don't plan any dramatic surprise like opening a new campus or putting a dome over Tappan Square," said Koppes. He feels that his position as dean of the college and his close working relationship with Dye has prepared him well for his responsibilities as acting president. "I have a broad familiarity with the issues facing the College."
Koppes was recommended to the Board of Trustees for the interim position by Dye, and she believes that "he is a good dean and will be a splendid acting president."
Koppes plans to utilize existing relationships within the College, and noted that "there's a tremendous reservoir of wisdom and good will in the community. It's critical to success to tap into that."
Copyright © 2000, The Oberlin Review.
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