Deborah Fitzgerald to Step Down as SHASS Dean

November 20, 2014

To the members of the MIT community:

I am writing to share the news that Deborah Fitzgerald has decided to step down from her position as Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) at the end of this academic year, in June 2015. Dean Fitzgerald, who has served with distinction as the Kenan Sahin Dean of SHASS since 2007, plans to return to the faculty in the Program in Science, Technology and Society to pursue teaching and research.

Under Deborah's inspired leadership, SHASS has maintained the highest standards of academic excellence throughout its departments, centers and programs and has become an increasingly important contributor to the Institute's overall capacity for innovation in teaching and research. In particular, she has been devoted to strengthening the core undergraduate education requirements in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Among her achievements was the recent restructuring of several academic units in the humanities. In addition, I have greatly valued her contributions as a member of the Academic Council and the Deans' Group over the years.

An article in MIT News provides more detailed information about Deborah's accomplishments as dean, and I encourage you to read it.

I intend to appoint a faculty committee in the very near future to advise me on the selection of the next Dean of SHASS. At the same time, I welcome your input and ideas regarding the best candidates for this role, and hope you will let me know by email ( Your input will be treated as confidential.

Best regards,
Martin A. Schmidt