Carol Long speaks to the crowd.
Carol LongLong talks with friends at her reception.
Long hugs Heidi Preuss Grew, associate professor of art.
Willamette Community Says Farewell to College of Liberal Arts Dean
Carol Long, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, is leaving Willamette University after 37 years of teaching, leadership and service. She will become provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York-Geneseo, effective July 1.
Faculty, administrators and other supporters filled the Alumni Lounge last week as the university sent off Long with parting gifts to help her remember her time at Willamette, including a gold compass engraved with the university motto and a Native American blanket signed by Oregon artist Lillian Pitt. A magnolia tree will be planted in Long’s honor at Ford Hall, labeled with a quote from Kahlil Gibran: “Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky.”
“Many of us came to trust and rely upon Carol’s immense kindness, wisdom and steady, peaceable ways,” President M. Lee Pelton said. “Her infinite calm, her patience and her faith in people contributed significantly, not only to her rise to many campus leadership positions, but to the longevity and depth of her many relationships with others on this campus and beyond.”
Long joined Willamette’s English faculty in 1972. She was a member of numerous councils, committees and task forces before serving two years as interim dean and then accepting the deanship in 2004.
In 1995 Long established the Oregon Writing Project in partnership with surrounding K–12 schools and colleges. During her time as dean, she served as a liaison to Tokyo International University, helped lead the transition of the first-year student seminar from World Views to College Colloquium, oversaw a significant expansion in the number of faculty and the creation of Centers of Excellence dedicated to academic research and scholarship, and helped develop plans for Ford Hall, an academic building opening this fall that is dedicated to technology integration and the mixing of disciplines not routinely found under one roof.
Long acknowledged all the people she worked with during the years — students, staff, administrators, faculty, trustees and alumni — in the form of a Thanksgiving Address, a tradition of the Iroquois or Six Nations peoples of the region of New York to which she is moving. The traditional address gives thanks to all living things “to align the minds and hearts of the people,” she said.
Long also noted she will remember her Willamette experiences as she begins her next position. “I am confident that we will stay connected,” she said, “and that I will take with me from Willamette many ideas and much wisdom that you have given me.”
David Douglass, professor of rhetoric and media studies, will serve as interim dean for the 2009–10 academic year while the university searches for a new dean.