Last night John Sexton announced the appointment G. Gabrielle Starr as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. If that second name sounds familiar, it’s because Starr has been CAS’s Acting Dean since Fall 2011, when her predecessor made the move to NYU Shanghai.
Prior to that, Starr chaired the English Department, taught literature at NYU and Harvard, and racked up an impressive RateMyProfessor score.
But, according to an email sent to CAS and LSP students:
“Impressive as her qualifications are, what struck us—and the Search Committee—more was the job she has done over the last year-and-a-half as Acting Dean. From the start, she was an activist, looking for ways to improve education and the student experience in the College.”
Starr’s activism as Acting Dean includes reviving CAS Open Hour, a program through which CAS students can meet their dean to discuss any questions or concerns regarding their academic careers. Open Hour, which had been discontinued in 2007, returned last year with free food and was well-received by attendees.
Outside her administrative career, Starr has pursued a range of studies as widely varied as those offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. Her authorial credits include books on neuroscience, aesthetics, and 18th-century British literature. And—interestingly, considering ongoing rift among CAS faculty— she is an outspoken advocate of the NYU 2031 plan.
“We believe that Gabi will be a superb leader for the College in the future as she has been over these past months,” John Sexton concluded in his email to CAS students, “and we ask you to join us in congratulating her on her appointment and wishing her well.”