Dean of SIS to step down, will return to teach
Louis Goodman will step down as the dean of the School of International Service after the end of this academic year, he announced Oct. 13.
Goodman has served as the dean of SIS since 1986.
In talks with Provost Scott Bass, Goodman agreed that he would go on a year-long sabbatical. He plans to then return to teach as a professor in SIS, Goodman said.
“I miss doing that,” Goodman said. “The contact with students is a little different as a professor.”
Goodman’s areas of research and interest include international development, Latin America area studies and social science methodology.
In the SIS faculty meeting that day, Goodman told professors and staff about his decision to resign and that evening circulated an e-mail to SIS students.
In the letter, Goodman wrote that he will continue to serve as dean through the summer of 2011.
“I suspect that those of you who have been close to me over the years are fully aware that this service has given me enormous pleasure and satisfaction,” he wrote.
In his letter, Goodman said he understood if people were surprised at his resignation a month after the completion of the new SIS building.
Goodman said he wanted the dedication of the SIS building to be a “simple celebration” without any distractions.
Goodman wrote in the letter that he wanted to allow Bass enough time for a thorough search for a new dean for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Goodman said he wanted his successor to be someone who has an intellectual track record, a lot of energy, an ability to engage with scholars and policymakers and an enjoyment for fundraising.
He said he was satisfied with the school’s progress in the past 24 years. In 1986, SIS had 12 faculty members. It now has close to 100, according to Goodman.
He is also very happy with the completion of the new building. Whereas the faculty was spread over 10 different campus buildings last year, they are now housed together. The new building brings the entire community together, he said.
“The school is in a really strong position for a new dean,” Goodman said.
Philip Brenner, a professor in SIS, said he has been at the school for about 30 years. At the faculty meeting where Goodman announced his resignation, Brenner said he spoke up to express the range of emotions that he and other staff members felt.
“Many people thought, ‘How are we going to survive without Dean Goodman?’” Brenner said. “Almost no one knows another dean. People are very grateful for everything he has done.”
Brenner compared Goodman’s resignation to the feeling in Cuba when Fidel Castro became sick.
“People think of [Castro] as a terrible dictator, but there’s an extraordinary sense of his being the big daddy because now they’re going to have to grow up,” Brenner said.
Jeremy Cohen, the president of the SIS Undergraduate Council, said Goodman’s successor will have large shoes to fill.
“He was in large part the face of the school,” Cohen said. “His strongest point as dean is he always worked tirelessly for the school, and I think that’s something that his successor will have to do as well.”