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Message Regarding Dean of The Graduate School

Andrew Wachtel to step down at end of the academic year

May 17, 2010
To members of the Northwestern community:

Andrew Wachtel, the Bertha and Max Dressler Professor of the Humanities and dean of The Graduate School, has informed President Schapiro and me that he plans to step down as dean, effective July 31, 2010, to become President of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I hope you will join me in wishing Andrew well on what will certainly be a fascinating opportunity.

Andrew is an internationally renowned scholar of the culture and history of Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and has been a faculty member at Northwestern since 1991. He has served as dean of The Graduate School since 2004. During his tenure as dean, he has been a strong advocate for graduate students and an innovator in interdisciplinary program development, globalization (including the first international dual Ph.D. degrees) and the creation of assessment mechanisms for graduate programs.

He and his staff in The Graduate School have championed expanded programs in professional and personal development for graduate students, full health insurance coverage for graduate students, tuition reform, and the development of interdisciplinary cluster programs in the Humanities, Social and Physical Sciences. A similar program for students in Life Sciences Ph.D. programs will debut in the fall. During Andrew's tenure as dean the Training Grant Support Office and the Office of Post-doctoral Affairs opened under the auspices of The Graduate School. We have great confidence that TGS staff will continue this good work through the transition to Andrew's successor and beyond.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, Andrew kept up an ambitious teaching and research agenda while dean, publishing a half dozen books and more than 20 articles as well as mentoring numerous Ph.D. students. He will retain his faculty appointment at Northwestern while he works to make the American University of Central Asia the leading liberal arts university in a quickly changing region.

We will soon begin seeking nominations for Andrew's successor as dean of The Graduate School.

We thank Andrew for both his exceptional scholarship during his tenure at Northwestern, and for his outstanding leadership of The Graduate School. I am very pleased that he will maintain his faculty appointment here and remain a member of the Northwestern community. Please join me in offering him best wishes on his new opportunity at the American University of Central Asia.


Daniel Linzer
Topics: University News