University appoints dean for new college

If approved in June, Darlyne Bailey will be the University’s first black female dean.

Marni Ginther

The nomination of a new dean Thursday marked a milestone for the new College of Education and Human Development and the University as a whole.

Darlyne Bailey, current dean of the Teachers College and vice president for academic affairs at New York’s Columbia University, is to assume the role of dean at the College of Education and Human Development on Oct. 1.

If her appointment is approved at the Regents’ meeting in June, she will be the first black female dean in University history.

“It’s an opportunity to co-create a college that builds on the history of multiple colleges Ö and actually create an organization that’s multidisciplinary in nature,” Bailey said.

The college is being restructured as part of the University’s realignment initiative. The University’s former General College and the College of Human Ecology’s School of Social Work and department of family social science will be integrated into the college in July.

Faculty members from each of those colleges and departments were on the search committee that chose Bailey for the job.

The committee sought nominations from anyone affiliated with the University, said Nicki Crick, committee vicechairwoman and professor in the new college.

“(Bailey) received more nominations than anyone,” Crick said.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost E. Thomas Sullivan, who made the final appointment Thursday at a news conference, said Bailey was “the most outstanding candidate in a very large, qualified pool of candidates Ö and had degrees in subject matter relevant to this new college.”

Professor Lee Galda, who also was on the search committee, spoke of the unique challenges of Bailey’s new position, because the college is in a state of transition.

“What we need is somebody who has a vision, but a vision being developed with other faculty of other colleges,” Galda said. “And (Bailey) is clearly a collaborative person.”

Taking on challenges and ideas is not new territory to Bailey.

A Harlem, N.Y., native, Bailey was one of only nine nonwhite women when she began her undergraduate studies at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. She was also the first nonwhite woman to hold a dean’s position at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

She said her life has been full of serendipity and that she has been a pioneer of sorts. This opportunity, she said, is an example of both.

“I’m very excited to work with the faculty and students,” she said. “I find myself really seeing the potential here and wanting to create something.”

Professor John Wright of the African-American and African studies department commented on the University’s first time selecting a nonwhite woman as a dean.

“I certainly applaud her appointment in that regard,” Wright said. “But more significant is that she is a gifted and dedicated administrator with a perfect track record.”