Beau Breslin, a member of the Skidmore College faculty for 14 years, was chosen from among 130 candidates in a national search to be the college’s new dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs.
“In the end Beau Breslin emerged from an exceptionally strong field as the clear choice for this position,” college President Philip Glotzbach said in a statement today.
The dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs is the second-ranking administrator at Skidmore, according to college officials.
Breslin, 46, has been a professor of government at the private, liberal arts college of 2,400 students since 1998. He had been serving as interim dean of faculty and vice president since June.
The noted constitutional scholar, who is the author of two books on the U.S. Constitution, lives just a block from the campus and likes to walk to work.
He said Tuesday one of the college’s priorities is keeping Skidmore among the group of highly regarded small colleges in the 21st century.
“We have to be nimble with our curriculum, build our science building and think about e-learning,” Breslin said.
A new science building is being planned in the area of the Dana Science Center and Harder Hall. No date has been set for the five-year project to begin.
“We want to locate all nine science departments together for the collaboration of faculty and students, bring them all together,” he said.
Glotzbach said Breslin during his time as a faculty member and administrative service has demonstrated “his capacity to be an outstanding academic administrator.”
As dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs, Breslin will serve as the college president’s “primary academic advisor, providing strategic vision and overall leadership for all academic endeavors,” said a college statement on the appointment.
The college’s academic affairs division includes three associate deans, the Office of Special Programs, the library, the registrar, director of institutional research and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.
Breslin has a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and master’s and doctorate degrees in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. The Rochester native is the author of two books published by The Johns Hopkins University Press: “The Communitarian Constitution (2004)” and “From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality (2008).” He has a third book on the Constitution under contract with Stanford University Press.
During his career at Skidmore, Breslin has been department chairman, director of the Law and Society Program, assistant dean, director of the college’s First-Year Experience and interim dean of faculty.
He succeeds former dean of faculty Muriel E. Poston, who took a position at another college some months ago, and former vice president of academic affairs Susan A. Kress, who retired. The search committee was co-chaired by English professor Sarah Goodwin and Glotzbach.