Columbia University

Communications and Calendars

Letters to the Faculty:

June 14 , 2012

Dear Colleagues:

Every year the Arts and Sciences relies on many of its faculty to serve in a wide variety of capacities, both in departments (as chairs, directors of undergraduate and graduate studies, etc.), and outside. I am writing today to inform you of some changes in leadership roles in the Institutes and Centers that are part of the Arts and Sciences.

I am grateful to Peter Awn, Professor of Religion, who in addition to being the Dean of the School of General Studies (and for a time also serving as Interim Dean of the School of Continuing Education) has served as Director of the Middle East Institute for the past four years. I am very pleased that Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science will be assuming the Directorship of the Middle East Institute as of July 1st, in addition to her role as Co-Director of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference.

I am also grateful to Al Stepan, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government, for his critical role as founding Co-Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (along with Mark Taylor). Karen Barkey, Professor of Sociology, will be assuming the role of Co-Director with Mark Taylor for the coming year, and will become the Director of the IRCPL when Mark steps down in another year (as he continues to serve as Chair of the Department of Religion).

I am pleased to announce that Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French, will serve as Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies next year, while Mamadou Diouf, Leitner Family Professor of African Studies, is on leave. And we are grateful to E. Valentine Daniel, Professor of Anthropology, who will be Acting Director of the South Asia Institute for the coming academic year, after which Janaki Bakhle, Associate Professor of History, will return for a second term as Director.
John Huber, Professor and Chair of Political Science, has kindly agreed to serve as Acting Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) for the 2012-2013 academic year after Peter Bearman, Jonathan R. Cole Professor of Sociology, steps down a second time from this role (having been the founding Director of ISERP). He will continue as Director of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences (formerly the Bureau for Applied Social Research).

Lastly, I am happy to inform you that Kimberly Marten, Professor of Political Science at Barnard, will serve as Acting Director of the Harriman Institute for one year while Timothy Frye, Marshall D Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy, takes a year off from the directorship, after which he will return for a two-year term.
I hope you will join me in thanking these colleagues for the invaluable service they provide to the Arts and Sciences and the University at large.

All best,


Nicholas B. Dirks
Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History
Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences