(Administrative) Summer Migration

It’s been a bit of a summer of university-hopping, at least for Stanford and its elite compatriots. Of course, people are always retiring, but there have been a couple of other relatively high profile moves. Perhaps the biggest move was that of Sunil Kumar from Stanford to take over the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. The interesting thing to note here is that Stanford never released a press report about the move, instead just briefly mentioning his departure and linking to the Chicago news release. This comes in contrast to press releases about other departures like that of Shawn Abbot, Stanford’s director of admissions, for New York University back in May. Should we read into that? No, probably not, but it’s interesting that a relatively high profile move wouldn’t merit its own “Dish” post.

Who else has been on the move? Well, Stanford made its own acquisition by sniping Yale’s records services archivist Daniel Hartwig, naming him the official Stanford University Archivist. As Archivist, he will be the curator of, and public face for, Stanford history. Stanford’s archives include not only things that you would expect like minutes of trustee meetings, administrative and departmental records, and maps of the campus, but also teaching materials, student diaries, or even fliers from student events. The woman he replaces, Margaret Kimball, has “tried to collect anything…that portrays the ‘fabric’ of life on the Farm over the decades: dorm T-shirts, cardboard fans from Convocation, event posters and, recently, the provost’s email about swine flu.” Interesting job to have.

Duke University then recruited another administrator, Beth Fox, the associate dean of undergraduate advising and research to become associate dean of Trinity College, the primary undergraduate college at Duke, where she will direct the new Academic Advising Center there. Side note: she previously worked at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke’s arch rival (here’s to hoping that she retains some Tarheel spirit!).

Of course, Stanford needed to replaced Shawn Abbott, its departing director of admission, so what did it do? Borrowed one from Cal, of course. Bob Patterson will begin his new job in September. (He’s also spent time at UNC-Chapel Hill…more Tarheel spirit.)

Well, it’s probably not too unusual to see some summer wanderlust on the part of administrators. After all, it’s the time to go, when the flow of students is at a temporary lull, but I thought it would be interesting to see it all laid out in one place. Here’s to hoping that the new is as good as (or better than?) the old!

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