By Catalina Righter and Brooke Schultz
Editor-in-Chief and News Editor
On Nov. 7, Dr. Patrice DiQuinzio will step into the role of provost and dean of Washington College as former Provost and Dean Emily Chamlee-Wright begins her new position as president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.
“Everything that I currently do is sort of under the umbrella of the provost, so the Provost’s Office includes all the things that I do to support the student experience outside of the classroom,” Dr. DiQuinzio said. “Everything from study abroad, to internships, to all the academic support, like the Writing Center. All of those areas also come under the provost.”
Dr. Chamlee-Wright will be leaving her role as provost and dean formally on Nov. 4. She said, “By leading HIS, I am returning in a sense to having my primary focus be this body of ideas and its continuous growth.”
She said that her experience as provost and dean will help her with the faculty development aspects of her role. “That’s the thing that I love to do most; support the rising stars that we have so many of here at WC. So yes, five years ago, I don’t think that I was prepared to step into [the role at HIS] the way I am now,” she said.
Dr. DiQuinzio will be taking over all of Dr. Chamlee-Wright’s former responsibilities and a search committee will begin work to find a new dean, a process that could last 18 months.
“I’ll be picking up on a lot of projects that Dean Chamlee-Wright had initiated. There’s probably going to be some time for discussion with faculty about — are there things they would like to see the Provost’s Office doing differently? Are there concerns that they’d like to see addressed? The faculty have a very important role to play in making decisions about the College, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to get over 100 people to work on decision making,” Dr. DiQuinzio said.
She said that the provost is responsible for the faculty, first and foremost. “So that means recruiting and hiring faculty and evaluating faculty and providing support for faculty so they can do their teaching work and their scholarly work as well as their different kinds of service that they do to the College,” she said.
Dr. Chamlee-Wright said Dr. Diquinzio earned the rank of full professor at Muhlendburg because of her distinguished teaching, which will make her a strong advocate for the faculty at WC. “She knows what she’s doing when it comes to faculty development and faculty growth throughout their career,” Dr. Chamlee-Wright said.
“In addition, she’s an incredibly skilled administrator and academic leader. From the time she came until now, she completely rethought and re-organized all the offices in her area—all the academic support offices—and she improved their outcomes through her leadership across the board.”
Dr. Chamlee-Wright also spoke to the concern that faculty may leave after she moves on to her new position. She said, “I think more broadly, the faculty are here forever. And it has always been the case, and always will be the case. Faculty are the keepers of the institution, and oftentimes staff work this way as well, but I think its particularly true of faculty that they are the keepers of the ethos of the place.”
During her four years at WC, Dr. Chamlee-Wright led development of the College’s Strategic Plan, which was initiated in 2014.
“Dean Chamlee-Wright has been very, very involved in the Strategic Planning Process, and since we’ve now put together a strategic plan, and now we’re looking at what the fundraising potential might be—what are the items in the Strategic Plan that a donor might be interested in—my role is going to be a little different there, since, as I said, the plan is pretty much in place,” Dr. DiQuinzio said.
Currently, Dr. DiQuinzio said that she does not have any huge agenda items of her own. “I’m not going to come in and make all kinds of drastic changes,” she said. “I think a lot of things at WC, certainly in the academic areas, are going really well. I don’t have any intention of coming in and upsetting those things that are well under way.”
As interim associate dean and provost, Dr. Andrea Lange will be stepping in. “She’s going to be great,” Dr. DiQuinzio said. “She has built up a really good program around internships and she shares my views about the importance of these out-of-the-classroom experiences for students’ learning.”
Dr. DiQuinzio said that the reason she is able to move into the position of provost is because her team, which includes theRegistrar’s Office, Writing Center, Office of Academic Skills, Quantitative Skills Center, the Global Education Office, English Language Learning, and Disability Services, is “awesome.”
“We all have, I think, a shared vision of how a WC education goes beyond the classroom, and that’s where we step in. Whether you need a tutor in biology or an internship to go with your history major, you want to study abroad — anything in between. This group is really good and I know that Andrea’s going to find it really great to work with them,” she said. “I’m very confident about how she will do.”
Dr. Chamlee-Wright also praised the work of the leaders of those individual offices, and said, “We keep good people like that because we’ve got great leadership in people like Dean DiQuinzio.”
“I have loved working with Emily,” Dr. DiQuinzio said. “And I think she and I have made a very good team. Our strengths complement each other; she has been great to work with…I’m not surprised she wants to move to a bigger arena.”